- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The nation's oldest person, a 113-year-old woman who witnessed the aftermath of the great San Francisco earthquake, enjoyed junk food and lived alone until she turned 102, has died.
Mary Dorothy Christian died Sunday at the Creekside Care Center in San Pablo, Calif., where she had lived since 1992. She had come down with a cold that turned into pneumonia, said nurse Ester Aballa.
"She would be 114 in two months, and she kept saying she wanted to make it," the nurse said. "I guess it was just her time."
The title of oldest living American, which she held from November, brought her a brief celebrity that she enjoyed, according to relatives.
Born June 12, 1889 in Taunton, Mass., Mrs. Christian moved with her family to San Pablo. She was a teenager working at an East Bay chocolate factory when she watched flames engulf San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake.
Relatives said Mrs. Christian, who married in 1907 and had two sons before a 1922 divorce, lived alone until she was 102. She is survived by two great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
The oldest living American is now Elana Slough, 113, of New Jersey, who was born 26 days after Mrs. Christian according to the UCLA School of Medicine.


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