Neva Morris (née Freed ; August 3, 1895 – April 6, 2010) was an American supercentenarian. At the age of 114 years, 246 days, she was the oldest verified living person in the United States following the death of 114-year-old Mary Josephine Ray on March 7, 2010. [12] As Ray was born in Canada, Morris become oldest born in the United States on November 16, 2009, following the death of 114-year-old Olivia Patricia Thomas.

Early life

Born in Ames, Iowa, where she lived her entire life, to Schuyler and Cambia Freed as the youngest of four children. Her mother died at almost 89, while her maternal grandmother made it to 91. Neva Freed married Edward Leonard Morris in 1914. The couple had four children: Leslee (1915-1991), Bettylee (1919-1998), Mary Jane (1920-1983) and Walter (1928-2017). They lived with Edward’s parents, Gertrude Rutherford and Walter Leonard Morris, on a farm encompassing 224 acres (0.91 km 2 ) of land. [3] She assisted in helping her four children attend Iowa State University by raising chickens, hogs and dairy cattle. [4]

Later years

Neva's son-in-law, 90-year-old Tom Wickersham, who lived in the same retirement home as Morris, [4] said “It didn’t hurt that she worked hard all her life and ate hearty and healthy meals prepared from meat, dairy products and vegetables produced on the farm.” [3] Walter Morris, [5] Neva’s youngest son and only living child, believed that her secret was her passion for fast cars, as witnessed by her 80-year accident-free driving record. [3] Aged 90 years, she purchased a 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis. [4] She discontinued driving when she was 95 years of age. [4]

Morris' husband Edward died in 1960. [5] At age 99, Morris moved from her farm home to North Grand Care Center [3] and later to Northcrest Community in 1998. [5] According to Wickersham in March 2010, she "had hearing and vision loss but was able to participate in limited activity at the nursing home". [6]

Death

At about 4 a.m. on April 6, 2010, Morris died with her 90-year-old son-in-law by her side. [6] She was the second oldest living person in the world. She is survived by one son, eight grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren, and several great-great-grandchildren. [3]

After her death, Eunice Sanborn took over as the oldest in the United States. [7]