stripes stripes
profile-photo
profile-photo

Bonita Gibson

Stefan Maglov
Validated By: Stefan Maglov On Date: Jan. 02nd 2024

Bonita Bell Gibson is an American supercentenarian whose age has been validated by LongeviQuest.

Biography

Gibson was born in Hoxie, Sheridan County, Kansas, USA, at 2:30 PM on 4 July 1911. She had an older brother, Daryl. When their parents separated, they were sent to live with an uncle and aunt in Mound City, Missouri. She felt that the neighbors there took pity on her, as they gave her a puppy when she was 9. Even in old age, it remained one of her fondest memories.

Gibson met her future husband, Kenneth, in high school when he was a senior and she was a sophomore. They got married during the Great Depression in 1930, and she recalled that the times were tough, but they managed to get by. They had chickens, a vast garden, and various fruit trees, ensuring a stable food supply. However, she commented, “We simply didn’t have any money to spend.” They stayed in a tent for a short time after getting married. Her husband had a relative who owned a farm in Idaho. In the 1930s, they decided to join him, and this opportunity introduced them to the potato industry. Her husband worked on shipping potatoes to places like Chicago, while she took care of office tasks. The couple had a son, Kenneth, in January 1937. She mentioned that delivering her son was exceptionally challenging, leading her to consider that she may not want to go through that experience again. The family enjoyed traveling the country in a Silver Streak trailer. Throughout her life, she survived battles with mumps, measles, and whooping cough during her childhood.

Following her husband’s passing in 2003, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to be near her son. Eventually, she moved closer to her grandchildren who had settled in Metro Detroit, Michigan. At the age of 99, she took her first plane ride to San Diego, a destination she had always wanted to visit. She visited the city’s world-famous zoo and enjoyed a brief boat cruise. At the age of 102, she moved into an assisted-living facility in Canton Township, Wayne County, Michigan. She attended her first Detroit Tigers game at the age of 105 and visited a casino for the first time at 106. At the age of 105, she had three grandsons, six great-grandsons, and six great-great-grandchildren, all boys except for one girl. At the age of 109, she contracted COVID-19. She slept for two straight weeks but was never hospitalized.

When asked about the secret of her longevity, she advised avoiding junk food and trying to exercise, humorously adding, “No smoking or drinking. Cut out all the good stuff, actually.”

Advertise with us

Learn More

Recognition

On 1 May 2022, following the death of 114-year-old Irene Dunham, she became the oldest living person in the U.S. state of Michigan.

Her age was validated by LongeviQuest on 2 January 2024.

Advertise with us

Learn More

Attribution

* “At 105, she’s making her Fourth of July parade debut” – Detroit Free Press, 3 July 2016

* “Canton woman/firecracker celebrates OMG! 110th birthday on Fourth of July” – Hometown Life, 4 July 2021

* “Michigan’s living history: Metro Detroit woman recalls 112 years of life” – CBS Detroit, 21 July 2023