|Birth:||21 August 1903|
Lumpkin County, Georgia, USA
114 years, 58 days
Ila Sewell Jones (née Stargel) (born 21 August 1903) is a verified American supercentenarian. At the age of 114, she is believed to be the second-oldest person living in United States (behind Delphine Gibson), and the currently oldest living person in the state of Georgia.
Ila Stargel was born in Lumpkin County, Georgia, to parents John and Georgia (née Jones) Stargel, who were farmers and lived in their own built log cabin. She had two other siblings, both sisters and younger than her. Growing up in the beginning of the 20th century, she hadn’t seen any cars until the early 1910s. In 1910 (and later in 1986), she witnessed Halley’s Comet.
Teaching career and marriage
Pursuing a career as a teacher as early as 1916, she taught mathematics in the Cave Spring area. After graduating from North Georgia College in 1929, she worked at the ”Georgia School for the Deaf” among other jobs. She also worked as a ”sewage facility director” and at Bank of Dahlonega, at some point in her life.
Ila married Paul Sewell in 1928/1929, a union that produced two sons. Both of her children are still alive as of August 2015. Her husband John Sewell passed away in 1958. She remarried a couple of years later, to Frank Jones. However, the couple were past the age to have any children of their own. They relocated to Texas in the late 1960s.
Retirement years and longevity
Since 1992, she has been living in Rome, Floyd County, Georgia. When she was around 103 years old, she moved to the nursing home Roman Court Assisted Living & Memory Care Communities (although there are conflicting sources regarding this, where Oxton Place of Rome is mentioned as her residency since 1998).
At the time of her 104th birthday, she was in good spirits with a sharp mind. Her longevity was credited to factors such as avoidance of foods containing sugar, positive mindset, strong genetics inherited by her ancestors and staying physically active.
When Ila was 107, it was reported that she used a wheelchair to get around and her eyesight and hearing were poor. On the other hand, she was still cognitively intact, being able to recollect memories from her childhood. At age 112, she has slightly declined verbally.
One of her great passions in life is music, although she never learned any instruments. She also enjoys writing poetry.
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- Rome News-Tribune 21 August 2015