In 2022, the oldest person in Michigan was Irene Dunham of Dewitt. At 114 years old, Irene was the fourth oldest person in Michigan, the third oldest in the United States, and the tenth oldest in the world. Born Irene Blanche Babcock on December 16, 1907 in Clinton County, Irene officially made all three listings before she quietly passed away on May 1, 2022.

But her story isn't just about being one of the oldest...she also happened to be living in Bath during the May 18, 1927 school bombing that killed 44 people, including 38 school children. It is still considered to be the worst & largest mass murder in Michigan AND our entire country's history. As a child, she even knew the man behind the bombing, Andrew Kehoe. Irene was twenty years old when it happened and was married two days after that tragedy.

Raising their family in Lansing, Irene and her husband Laurits were married for 45 years until Laurits passed away in 1972. Irene lived in the same house for 85 years...a feat unheard of in this millennium.

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In 2020 when she turned 112, she moved into an assisted living facility where she lived out her last two years. She is buried next to her husband in Dewitt City Cemetery. Pay them a visit sometime.

One last note: According to Dignity Memorial, “She loved the independence of driving her car, but finally gave that up when she turned 106.”

Michigan's Oldest Person in 2022

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