Mamie Julia Rearden once was asked how it felt to be one of the world's oldest living persons.
"I don't know how it makes me feel. I really don't know," she replied.
Last Wednesday (Jan. 2), Reardon died at an Augusta, Ga. hospital at age 114 years and 117 days, according to her daughters, Sara Rearden of Burtonsville, Md., and Janie Ruth Osborne of Edgefield, S. Car. Reardon reportedly broke her hip after a fall about three weeks ago.
Amongst the many things that could be said about Rearden upon her death, these facts will be forever linked with her – the world's 4th oldest living person, the oldest living American, and the oldest living person of African descent.
Rearden entered the world in Edgefield County, S. Car., in a portion of the area known as Pleasant Lane. Her maiden name was Lewis. She attended Log Creek Community School and Jerome Bettis Academy Junior College.
A career teacher, she began that trek in 1918. A year later, she married Ocay Rearden and the couple parented 11 children. Ocay Rearden died in 1979.
When Mississippi Winn died on Jan. 14, 2011, Rearden became the oldest African-American.
"My mom was not president of the bank or anything, but she was very instrumental in raising a family and being a community person," Sara Rearden, Rearden's youngest daughter, told the Associated Press.
"Everybody can't go be president of a bank or president of a college, but we feel just as proud of her in her role as housewife and particularly as mother and homemaker."
For the record
* July 15, 2012 – Mamie Rearden, aged 113 years 312 days, became one of the 100 oldest people ever.
* September 7, 2012 – Mamie Rearden became the 91st person in history to reach age 114.
* December 4, 2012 - Mamie Rearden, aged 114 years 88 days, became the oldest living person who was born in the United States.
* December 10, 2012, Mamie Rearden became one of the 70 verified oldest people ever.
* December 17, 2012 Dina Manfredini died, Mamie Rearden aged 114 years 101 days became the oldest living American.
* January 2, 2013 Mamie Rearden died, age 114 years 117 days as the last American born in 1898.
– Staff and wire reports