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BIOGRAPHY

Boenig was born in Oakville, Live Oak County, Texas, USA, on 21 October 1905, to parents Jerome Frank Tuttle (1883–1960) and Lillie May Johnson (1885–1909). She was raised in Blanconia by an aunt and uncle after her mother passed away during childbirth. Her family didn’t have a car until she was 13. Her father owned a Ford Model-T, and she claimed that at 14 years old, she was the first female in Woodsboro to drive through town in a pickup truck.

On 14 October 1922, shortly before her 17th birthday, she married Walter August Boenig (1899–1968) in  Woodsboro, Texas. She was a homemaker and avid gardener for most of her life. The couple had children: Durwood Clinton (1923–2015), Jerome Herman (1928–2023), Vera Mae (married Curd; 1931–2008), Juanita Grace (married Shanks; 1932–1988), Walter “Butch”, Elsie (married LaNelle), and Ord Gary (1945–2014). In 1941, the family moved to Beeville.

Boenig was a member of Trinity Christian Church. Throughout her life, she visited every U.S. state except Rhode Island, jokingly commenting, “It was so small, we couldn’t find it.” She had been legally blind since her early 90s due to glaucoma.

Boenig passed away in Beeville, Texas, USA, on 16 April 2017, at the age of 111 years, 177 days. She was survived by three of her children, as well as 20 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren, and 19 great-great-grandchildren.

RECOGNITION

At the time of death, she was the second-oldest (known) living person in the U.S. state of Texas, behind Hazel Gates.

Her age was validated by LongeviQuest on 10 December 2023.

ATTRIBUTION

* Ellen Mae Tuttle Boenig – Find A Grave

* “Beeville resident celebrates 111 years” – Victoria Advocate, 24 October 2016

* “Ellen Mae Boenig” – STexasNews.com, 18 April 2017

GALLERY

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