The second oldest person in the United States recently celebrated her 114th birthday, attributing her long life to the grace of God. Elizabeth Francis still lives in her own home in the city of Houston, after a life of growing her own vegetables and avoiding fast food. She never smoked or drank, but ate nearly everything, becoming a family legend for her home-cooked meals. “Whenever you went to her house, I don’t care what day of the week, she was cooking,” her granddaughter Ethel Harrison said.
The Christian Post reports her longevity appears to be genetic. Her sister lived to 106 and she lives with her daughter Dorothy Ray Williams who is 94. Five generations of her family plus members from her church and staff from the TV station where she once ran the coffee shop joined in the birthday celebration. Elizabeth is the oldest person in Texas and is believed to be the seventh oldest person on the planet and the second oldest still living at home, according to experts on the world’s ‘supercentenarians’ over the age of 110, LongeviQuest, whose CEO Ben Meyers and other staff attended the event.
Its website wrote: “Her family was very touched that so many people worldwide appreciate their beloved Queen Elizabeth of Houston, a new affectionate term used by her loved ones. When asked for life advice by a visitor, Mrs. Francis replied, “If the Good Lord give it to you, use it! Speak your mind, don’t bite your tongue!”
Granddaughter Ethel said Elizabeth’s gift to others is the wisdom and advice she shares writes The Christian Post. As for her greatest gift? “I think generosity, being generous. Treating people like you want to be treated — even though sometimes it might not be reciprocated. That’s the way God wants you to do it. He wants you to be generous and kind,” said Ethel, adding that her grandmother did that all her life.
Elizabeth was born in 1909 when William Howard Taft was US President and 90% of American babies were born at home and at a time when women and African Americans could not vote. Her longevity is seen as a blessing by her family, who describe her as a wonderful mother and grandmother and their “backbone.” She has three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.
Elizabeth simply says: “I just thank the good Lord for keeping me. This is a blessing, the Lord’s blessing.”
Photo: Facebook – Top: 10 Supercentarians Group