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Oldest U.S. Citizen, Mamie Rearden, Dies at Age 114
The oldest living citizen of the United States, a 114-year-old woman from South Carolina, passed away recently, according to two of her daughters. Mamie Rearden, from Edgefield, was the oldest citizen of the United States for two weeks prior to her death.
Rearden passed away at a hospital in Augusta, Georgia, according to Sara Rearden, from Burtonsville, Maryland and Janie Ruth Osborne, from Edgefield. The two women, Rearden’s daughters, broke her hip after suffering a fall three weeks ago.
Mamie Rearden was named as the oldest living United States citizen by Gerontology Research Group. The group verifies age information for Guinness World Records. Rearden was named the oldest living American in December after 115-year-old Dina Manfredini passed away in Iowa.
Rearden was born on September 7, 1898 and her birth was recorded in the 1900 United States census, according to Robert Young from Gerontology Research Group. Rearden was over one year younger than the oldest person in the world at the time of her death, 115-year-old Jiroemon Kimura from Japan.
“My mom was not president of the bank or anything, but she was very instrumental in raising a family and being a community person,” said Sara Rearden, her youngest child. “Everybody can’t go be president of a bank or president of a college, but we feel just as proud of her in her role as housewife and particularly as mother and homemaker.”
Mamie was married to her husband Oacy for 59 years until he passed away in 1979. Mamie also raised 11 children, 10 of whom are still living, according to Sara Rearden. Mamie lived in the family home with one of her sons and one of her daughters on land that has been in her family since her father bought land that made him a top black landowner in the area.
On the other side of the county, Mamie went to Bettis Academy in order to earn her teaching certificate. Her daughter said that Mamie would spend a whole day on a wagon to get to the school using dirt roads. Mamie was a teacher for a handful of years until she became pregnant with her third child.
In the decade of the 1960s, at the age of 65, Mamie learned to drive a car for the very first time and began to volunteer for a program with Edgefield County. The volunteer job required her to drive to remote roads and find children who were kept out of school by their parents, according to Sara Rearden.