Inkster woman, world's oldest person, to celebrate 116th birthday

Soon to be 116, Jeralean Talley is the world's oldest living person and she is marking another birthday.

Denying a little sugar from Inkster Mayor Hillard Hampton, two days before her birthday, Talley showed a spirited smile at a pre-birthday party held for her Thursday.

She was officially named the oldest living person not just in America, but in the world.

"Thank you," she said.

Giving quite the humble reaction, Talley was born May 23, 1899 in Georgia. She moved to Michigan in 1935 and was married for 52 years. 

She says she loves going to church and going fishing. She even bowled until she was 104 years old.

Alive in three centuries, living through two world wars, The Great Depression, Talley was 4 years old when the Ford Motor Co. was formed. Talley attributes her long, healthy life to hard work and her faith in God.

"He knows everything, I don't know it, but he do," she said, addressing the crowd. "Thank him for that. Goodbye."

In between claps, laughs and cake, Talley was also happy with $116 in cash.

Approaching her historical birthday on Saturday, Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) presented a statement placed on the Congressional record. And he presented another special gift to Talley - a personal letter from President Barack Obama.

Conyers read the letter aloud, which said in part: 

"In all you have seen and everything that you have achieved over the course of your more than 11 decades, you have been an important part of the great unending story that is America."

Known as "Mother Talley," wise and witty, she plans to roll out in a limousine Saturday to celebrate the historic day in the city she's proud to call home.
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