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BIOGRAPHY

Ferrell was born Catherine Spearman in Warsaw, North Carolina, USA, on 10 October 1912. She grew up in a two-room house with a fireplace. Her father passed away while she was very young. Her mother, Callie Spearman, only completed the third grade; but instilled in her children going to school and getting an education. She had one younger sister, Mary. Catherine was involved in the church at a very early age, as her mother made sure that she was in Sunday School every Sunday.

In 1931, she graduated from Frederick Douglas High School as valedictorian of her class. She also played on the school’s basketball team. A year or two following her graduation she met Walter Williams, her future husband, at church.

After divorcing her first husband, she moved to Durham, North Carolina in 1945, where she made sure that she did not take a job that required her to work on Sunday, as she wanted to be involved in Church. She aspired to be a teacher but did not have the funds to attend college. However, she was home teaching her children, family, and other community children and taught Sunday school classes for most of her life. At some point, she remarried Maynard Ferrell, a delivery man. They first settled into a home in East Durham. The couple had two children: David and Shirley Ferrell. In an interview from 2022 for INDY Week, she revealed how her son and grandson were killed.

At the age of 100, she traveled to Israel, which was the first time she traveled by plane. She visited a lot of famous locations such as the Jordan River and Mt. Sinai. She credits her faith as the secret to living a long life.

RECOGNITION

Her age was validated by LongeviQuest on 4 April 2023.

GALLERY

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