Edie Ceccarelli, the oldest living woman in the United States, just celebrated her 116th birthday.
In the small town of Willits, California, the city came together to celebrate Ceccarelli’s life with a parade. Born and raised in the town filled with giant redwood trees, most everyone knows Ceccarelli and makes an effort to celebrate her each year as she grows well into her 100s.
Said Evelyn Persico, 83, one of her cousins:
“She is such a part of this community. So this is like, the third, fourth, fifth generation celebrating her. Many of her people have passed. So many of her old-timers are gone.”
Edie has been an active community member until recently due to her dementia. She was so active, in fact, that on her 104th birthday, she wrote a letter to the local paper looking for a new dance partner since her husband’s passing.
“I, Edith Ceccarelli, would like to keep on dancing, as would have my late friend and dance partner Ed Burton, whom I miss beyond words. I am looking for a dance partner. Dancing keeps your limbs strong. What is nicer than holding a lovely lady in your arms and dancing a beautiful waltz or two-step together? Try it, you will like it.”
She signed it off with her phone number. While other members of the community took her up on the offer, no long-term partner stuck because they simply could not keep up with her.
As many people slow down as they age, the world wants to know what is her secret to living such a full and long life. The answer is more simple than you’d think.
“Two fingers of red wine and minding my own business.”
This is typically how Ceccarelli responds when asked what her secret is, and I think these are great words to live by. Although my pours might be more than two fingers, hopefully, the antioxidant part of drinking red wine is the key and not the quantity.
One of her youngest relatives, Taylor Day, 29, has taken to her advice, hoping that she will have the same outcome.
“I’ve kind of adapted that too. A glass of red wine and happiness.”
The world’s oldest woman, María Branyas Morera, who lives in Spain, shared a similar part of the key to living for a long time as Ceccarelli advising to “stay away from toxic people.”
Ceccarelli now resides in a local care center, where friends and cousins come to visit her. Her caretaker keeps her looking her best, with her nails and lips always painted a classic cherry red- just to match the wine, right?