Oldest person in US' secret to longevity: loving people - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Oldest person in US' secret to longevity: loving people

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(Photo: Douglas R. Clifford, AP) (Photo: Douglas R. Clifford, AP)
CLEARWATER, FL (AP) -

The oldest person in the United States has died at age 113, just weeks before her 114th birthday.

A spokeswoman from Elsie Thompson's church in Clearwater in central Florida said she died March 21.

The Gerontology Research Group, which verifies age information for Guinness World Records, listed Thompson as the oldest living U.S. citizen after January's death of 114-year-old Mamie Rearden of South Carolina.

Thompson was born in Beaver Falls, Pa., on April 5, 1899. Her husband, Ronald Thompson, was a Republican state senator in Pennsylvania, and in 1971, the couple moved to Clearwater. He died in 1986.

Elsie Thompson is survived by her son, who is in California, and four grandchildren.

She often said the secret to her longevity was loving people and greeting each day with a smile.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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