Last week the oldest known person in the world Jeralean Talley, picture above right, passed away peacefully in her sleep. The a resident of Inkster, Michigan, and a Detroit native turned 116-years-old weeks before her passing.
Her longtime friend Michael Kinloch told Detroit Free Press Talley's prayer was not to suffer. After being in the hospital for a week, Talley was brought home. Her 77-year-old daughter Thelma Holloway, said, "She went away peacefully."
Jones has been blind from glaucoma since she was 100 but is in generally good health for her age. She takes minimum medication: a pill for her blood pressure and multivitamins.
The director of New England Centenarian Study at Boston Medical Center, Thomas Perls, told TIME that genetics are the reason people like Jones and Talley live so long. “You have to have some relatively rare combinations of a whole bunch of genes, probably hundreds, that will help people age more slowly or protect people from age-related diseases [dementia, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer],” he said. He added that most super-centenarians are female due to the combination of genes being on the X chromosome which women have two of.
Both Jones and Talley have credited their longevity to faith in God.