HARLEM, N.Y. — America’s oldest woman, Alelia Murphy, of Harlem passed away at age 114, according to 1199SEIU, a healthcare union.
Murphy was born into a family of 12 children in North Carolina, but moved to Harlem because she wanted to be a part of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s.
State Senator Brian Benjamin called her a “Harlem icon.”
Murphy lost her husband in 1953. She raised a daughter and a son.
“My grandmother, her strength, I don’t know where she gets it from, but she has been through so many things. She is the glue that holds this family together,” one of her granddaughters, Nefer Nekhet, told PIX11 at Murphy’s birthday in July.
“We ask her ‘Grandma, you been here for a very long time’ and she said ‘I’m here because you all don’t know how to live, I’m here to teach you all how to live and things to do!’”
When asked what is her secret to living a long life, Murphy said: “Trust in God and be a good person.”
Funeral services will take place on Friday, December. 6 at the United House of Prayer for All People in Harlem. The viewing will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and the funeral service will immediately follow.
(CNN contributed to this report.)