Oldest living American to celebrate 116th birthday on Aug. 15

A woman from Charlotte, North Carolina is celebrating her birthday as the oldest living American.

At 115 years old, Hester Ford has lived through both the 1918 flu pandemic and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. She credits her long life to family and a strong faith in God.

Ford is set to ring in another year with her family on Saturday, Aug. 15. Two of her grandchildren, Mary Hill and Clayton Harris, said they are planning a giant drive-thru celebration for the soon-to-be 116-year-old, according to WCNC.

“We are doing a re-do of 115 and celebrating 116 coming into,” Hill told WCNC. “So we are excited about the cars coming back in and just acknowledging her and letting them know that we love her.”

Ford’s family said they didn’t know how old she actually was until they found a Census document in 2018 that suggested she was born in 1904. Prior to discovering the document, the family thought Ford was actually a year younger.

In addition to the Ford family, Americans across the country are still celebrating their seniors amid the pandemic. Julia Lee Kelly, a great-great-grandmother, recently rang in her 100th birthday with 173 descendants.