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[Deathwatch] Mary Parr, Oldest American, 113

Oldest American, 113, dies
Wednesday, October 30, 2002 Posted: 9:29 PM EST (0229 GMT)


ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) -- Mary Parr, believed to be the oldest
person in the United States and second-oldest in the world, died
Tuesday at Suncoast Manor, a retirement community where she had lived
since 1965. She was 113. 

Parr was determined to be the oldest resident of the United States by
the Gerontology Research Group, a nonprofit organization which studies
aging. She succeeded Adelina Domingues, a California woman who died at
114 on August 21.

Parr, born February 1, 1889, in Mishawaka, Indiana, was the world's
second-oldest person at the time of her death, the group said. Only
Kamato Hongo, a 115-year-old Japanese woman, had an authenticated age
older than Parr's. 

Parr often told the secret of her longevity: Never getting married. 

Parr spent many years working for the American Red Cross in Cape May,
New Jersey, first as a volunteer during World War I and then as a paid
employee. She also worked for the South Carolina Tuberculosis
Organization, then moved to Asheville, North Carolina, to care for her
then-retired parents. 


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