Elizabeth Francis celebrated her 114th birthday earlier this week and made history surrounded by five generations of loved ones.
The Texas woman, born in 1909, has managed to be a centenarian – someone who will live to be 100 – and has been a super centenarian, a person who has lived to the age of 110, for several years now.
Centenarians are one of the fastest growing population groups in the world. according to Pew Research Center – But Francis is still a standout.
After commemorating her recent birthday, Francis has many titles: she is the oldest person in Texas, the second oldest in the United States, the seventh in the world, and the second oldest in the world still living at home, according to Florida researcher Ben Meyers told KTRK TV.
But the great-great-grandmother rejects the idea of being old.
“I’m very, very young. Look at me – I’m like a little young chicken,” she told the broadcaster.
When asked how she feels at 114, Francis replied, “I don’t know, I just thank the good Lord for taking care of me.”
Francis revealed the secrets of her long life, saying that she never drank or smoked, but ate “everything.”
Her family also recalled how she always grew her own vegetables and cooked homemade meals instead of eating fast food.
“Whenever you went to her house, I didn’t care what day of the week she was cooking,” said her granddaughter, Ethel Harrison. “So I think that has a lot to do with that too. How she took care of her body and things like that.”
But genetics also seem to be a factor in Francis’ longevity.
Her sister lived to be 106 years old, making her one of the oldest siblings of all time. Their daughter Dorothy Ray Williams is 94 years old and Harrison, her granddaughter and caregiver, is 68 years old.
Time will tell if her other two grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren also inherited the strong genes.
“It’s hard to believe, but it’s a blessing,” Williams said of her mother’s long life, adding that people think she’s lying when she tells them how old her mother is.
“She was a wonderful mother and grandmother to all of us,” she said. “She was our backbone.”