The world’s oldest living person, an East New Yorker who ascribed her longevity to eating bacon, splitting with her underwhelming ex-husband, and forgoing children, died on May 12 at the age of 116.
Supercentenarian Susannah “Miss Susie” Mushatt Jones swore off alcohol and smoking, makeup, and never dyed her hair, but she indulged in bacon and grits every morning right up until the end — and it certainly kept her young, her niece said.
“Up until recently she continued to still eat her bacon and eggs,” said 76-year-old Bensonhurster Lois Judge. “It’s amazing.”
Jones became the country’s only living soul whose life spanned three centuries on June 17, 2015, when the world’s then-oldest died in her sleep.
The sprightly senior was born on July 6, 1899 in rural Alabama. She graduated high school and then made the big move to the Big Apple via a three-day train trip in December 1922. She became a housekeeper and nanny all over the country — in New Jersey, Westchester County, Florida, and Hollywood. She made just $7 a week but saved advantageously to create a scholarship fund for students at her former high school and support her relatives as they relocated to New York.
Jones married in the late-1920s, but divorced shortly after and had no children — another factor she contributed to her longevity.
She retired in 1965 and went back to Alabama before returning to New York for good. Then moved into the Vandalia Senior Center in East New York as soon as it opened in 1983 and lived there until her final breath, celebrating every single birthday along the way — with many of her more than 100 nieces and nephews helping her blow out all the candles.
Judge spent nearly every birthday with her aunt at the senior center and said Jones couldn’t believe she was the world’s oldest living person.
“We were telling her she was the oldest person, and she said, ‘That can’t be true.’ And we said, ‘Yes it is,’ — even she didn’t believe it,” she said. “We’re happy to have known her all these years, she’s been very generous in her time and effort in speaking to us about life. She was a lovely person.”
The world’s oldest person now lives in Italy, according to Reuters.