The oldest American died at the age of 114, according to a Jan. 5 UPI report. Mamie J. Lewis Rearden, of South Carolina, only held the title of oldest American for 16 days before her death.
Astonishingly, Maimie Rearden was born in Edgefield in 1898, and she died in a Georgia hospital on Wednesday, Jan. 2, so she was able to ring in 2013 before she died. She was in the hospital recovering from a broken hip.
On Dec. 17, 2012, Dina Manfredini, 115, died, passing the title of oldest American to Maimie Rearden. Upon Maimie's death, Clearwater, Fla. resident Elsie Thompson, 113, is the oldest American. Hopefully she will hold this title for more than a few days. It seems like Elsie has a while before she could hope to become the world's oldest person though. That title belongs to Jiroemon Kimura of Japan, who is 115-years-old.
Maimie's daughter Sara Rearden said,
"She was exceptional. She was just a phenomenal woman."
In fact, Maimie Reardon taught her 11 children to treat people right, which is a wonderful legacy for the former educator and social worker to leave behind. Her family was challenged to live by the Golden Rule. According to her daughter, Maimie said,
"You don't know why that person was behaving the way they were behaving. Treat others like you want to be treated."
Perhaps her respect for other people contributed to Maimie Rearden's long life. This remarkable woman was preceeded in death by her husband of 59 years and one son, which must have caused plenty of heartache. She is survived by her four daughters, her six living sons, 15 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. This large family had an excellent role model in Maimie.