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Arkansas Woman Now World's Oldest Person at 116

  • VOA News

FILE - Gertrude Weaver poses at Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center in Camden, Ark., a day before her 116th birthday, July 3, 2014.

FILE - Gertrude Weaver poses at Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center in Camden, Ark., a day before her 116th birthday, July 3, 2014.

A woman in the Southern U.S. state of Arkansas who has invited President Barack Obama to her birthday party is now the world's oldest person.

Gertrude Weaver, 116, inherited the title Wednesday upon the death of Misao Okawa of Osaka, Japan, at age 117.

Officials at Okawa's nursing home said her death was peaceful, as if she had just fallen asleep.

Weaver, who will turn 117 on July 4, said she wants Obama to celebrate with her.

A former domestic worker in private homes and mother of four children, Weaver has experienced a lot in her 116 years, said Kathy Langley, administrator of the Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center in Camden, Arkansas. But she still has one dream she would like to realize.

"She really wants to meet the president. She's voted for him twice now, and it's just her lifelong dream,'' Langley said. ``We sent him an invitation to come to her birthday party last year, and we will send him another one this year.''

Weaver said the secret to long life is treating everyone with kindness.

Some information for this report came from AP.

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