HomeNewsMichigan Woman Turning 110 Remembers Living Through Great Depression and WWII

Michigan Woman Turning 110 Remembers Living Through Great Depression and WWII

by Jennifer Shea
Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Bonita Gibson is 110 years old. But she’s only the second-oldest woman in the state of Michigan.

Gibson was born on the 4th of July. And as she reached her 110th birthday at an assisted living facility this past weekend, friends and family gathered to mark the occasion and to celebrate her recovery from COVID-19, which had marred her 109th birthday.

So how did she make it through a world war, the Great Depression, the Great Recession and two pandemics?

“I think a lot of it was just kindness and having loving people to help me,” Gibson told Fox 2 Detroit. “Every time I would make a decision somebody would come up with a better plan.”

Michigan Woman Remembers the Spanish Flu, Great Depression

Gibson remembers the Spanish Flu pandemic and the Polio epidemic. She conquered whooping cough when she was a child and came down with the measles and mumps long before fighting off COVID-19 last year.

The caretakers at her Michigan assisted living facility insist she’s as healthy as ever.

“I don’t feel any different than I did when I was 90,” Gibson said. “I just do what I can do and I don’t worry about what can’t be done.”

Gibson and her husband got married in 1930, right after the fateful crash of 1929. As the Depression got into full swing, they scrounged to get by, even living in a tent for two years because they couldn’t afford an apartment.

“No one had any money, so we lived in a tent because we didn’t want to live in with anyone else,” Gibson explained.

The couple had to walk a mile and a half out in the country to get to work, she added.

Gibson Still Living Life Even In Her Old Age

Gibson has not slowed down with age. She took her first plane trip at age 99, and at 106, she went to a casino for the first time, according to Fox News. To celebrate her last year in the double digits, Gibson flew from Michigan to her dream vacation spot.

“When I was in school, geography was one of my favorite subjects and I always thought ‘San Diego sounds so romantic and pretty and neat. I would really like to go there.’ And so I did and that was at 99,” she said.

Nowadays, at her assisted living facility in Rochester Hills, Gibson enjoys watching her favorite game shows, “Jeopardy!” and “The Price Is Right.” But she still gets out to get her hair done once a week and selects her own clothes. A manager at the facility said she has excellent taste.

At the end of the day, Gibson credits God for her longevity. She said God has “had His hand on my shoulder through my life.”