Bonita Gibson, Michigan’s oldest living resident, turns 113

Bonita Gibson on her 113th birthday

The Gerontology Research Group (GRG) is delighted to report 113th birthday of Mrs. Bonita Gibson, the oldest living resident of Michigan.

Bonita Gibson was born in Hoxie, Sheridan County, Kansas, USA on 4 July 1911 to parents John Franklin and Ella Mabel (Miller) Spear. She had an older brother, Daryl. Bonita Gibson’s age was verified by Waclaw Jan Kroczek, Oliver Trim, and Robert Young, and validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG) on 4 May 2023, two months before her 112th birthday.

Her life has been marked by significant historical events and personal experiences:

Gibson recalls living through the Spanish Flu Pandemic, with one of her brothers serving in World War I and sending letters from the front lines. She also survived whooping cough during her childhood.

In April 1930, during the height of the Great Depression, Gibson married Kenneth Gibson in Oregon, Missouri. Two years later, in June 1932, the couple relocated to Idaho, where her husband’s uncle was involved in the wheat growing business. They faced financial challenges, including sleeping in a tent due to their inability to afford rent and walking a considerable distance to work. They welcomed a son, Kenneth Richard, in January 1937. The couple later moved to Newdale, Idaho, where her husband ventured into the potato business. In 1946, they moved to Idaho Falls, with her husband’s continued involvement in the potato industry. Eventually, he transitioned to a potato brokerage operation until his retirement in 1977. Her husband passed away in October 2003.

Even at the age of 99, Gibson embarked on her first plane ride, traveling to San Diego, California. She also tried her luck at a casino for the first time at the age of 106.

At the age of 102, she began living in a nursing home in Canton, Michigan, USA, where she still maintained a weekly routine of getting her hair done and selecting her own clothing.

In 2020, at 109 years old, Gibson demonstrated her resilience by surviving COVID-19, making her one of the oldest known survivors of the disease.

Following the death of 114-year-old Irene Dunham on 1 May 2022, she became the oldest known living person in Michigan.

As of her 113th birthday, Bonita Gibson resides in Canton, Michigan, USA.

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