The woman who was Michigan's oldest person earlier this year, Ellen Goodwill of Battle Creek was 114 years old when she passed away in March 2021. With the passing of Ellen, the crown of oldest person living in Michigan went to 113-year-old Irene Dunham of Lansing.

In 1927, Irene was a senior at the Bath school when Andrew Kehoe blew it up, killing many children and wounded many more. Irene missed school that day, staying home with a sore throat. It was on May 18 when Kehoe placed approximately 1,000 pounds of dynamite in the school basement. Upon detonation, it killed 38 school children and six adults. Irene's brother was one of the children that was wounded. Needless to say, graduation did not take place that year, and it wasn't until 1977 when Irene was awarded her high school graduation diploma. What took so long?

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That historic disaster is not the only slice of history she witnessed. There were both World Wars, two pandemics, the Great Depression, the Kennedy assassination, the debut of talking movies, the sinking of the Titanic.....and if you know anything about American history during the 1900s, you know there is plenty more.

Irene is not just the oldest person in Michigan, but the United States' sixth oldest, and 22nd oldest in the entire world. She is currently living in a senior assisted living facility in Dewitt Township.

As quoted in the Lansing State Journal, Irene said "It has been a long life.....I just get up, move around and I guess that’s about it. I wish I could do more right now but I’m getting pretty old”.

What a sweetie!

Michigan's Oldest Person

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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