Guinness record holder celebrates 114th birthday in Jacksonville

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - Eunice Sanborn has seen the turn of two centuries. July 20, 2010, the oldest person in America celebrated another year. The 114-year-old birthday girl calls East Texas home, and her birthday bash took place in Jacksonville.

A choir of friends surrounded Sanborn, singing Happy Birthday. Born on July 20, 1896, Eunice L. Sanborn, celebrated her 114th birthday.

"I'm having a wonderful time," said Sanborn.

"She's a living history book," said David French, Sanborn's friend and caretaker.

The birthday girl has outlived three husbands and her only daughter, Dorthy. But, she calls the people at her party family. Claiming David French as the son she never had.

"She is a blessing," said French. "She is why we are here and the love everybody has for her is what gets everybody together."

Her life spans three centuries, making Sanborn is the oldest person in America. A representative from the Guinness Book of World Records awarded Sanborn a certificate and said she is just six months shy of being the oldest person in the world. But, French claims she was born a year earlier.

"But, they don't have enough documentation on that," he said.

Celebrating more than a century of life, Sanborn is the longest living member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

She is known around town for her energetic personality.

"I always said her middle name should have been 'Go,'" joked friend, Christine Bunn.

This colorful spirit expressed by her favorite red lipstick and nail polish. When asked her secret to staying young Sanborn had an answer.

"Ohhh, that's no trouble," she said. "I just get dressed!"

A full life with no serious medical problems, Sanborn says it's a blessing from above.

"That's how she says it's gotten me here, 'The Lord's been with me and kept me going for some reason. He's not through with me yet,'" said Bunn.

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