At the time of her death, Ford was at least 115 years and 245 days old, according to a gerontology research group that confirmed her as the oldest living American in 2019. However, her family told CNN that she was born at 15 August 1904, which would have made her 116 years old.
Ford was born in Lancaster, South Carolina, to Peter and Francis McCardell. She married John Ford and had 12 children, eight girls and four boys.
“It’s amazing, but it’s still an awakening experience to realize that my grandmother wasn’t just an ordinary woman, she was EXCEPTIONAL,” Patterson-Pau told CNN in an email.
“She never fits in one size fits all boxes, as she has been a major inventor and innovator, a guide to her own trends in the community and her home,” she said.
Patterson-Pau describes her great-grandmother as unshakable and immobile in the face of adversity.
“She never complained, she never showed defeat and she never entertained a pathetic party,” Patterson-Pau said.