Alelia Murphy, who was believed America’s oldest resident, died on Nov. 27, according to 1199SEIU, a health care union.
At 114, the New Yorker held the title after celebrating her birthday in July. Murphy was born in North Carolina in 1905 into a family of 12 children but moved to Harlem because she wanted to be a part of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s.
Described by her daughter as a “gift from God,” Murphy raised two children by herself after her husband died, and the family has been living in Harlem for decades.
“We ask her ‘Grandma, you been here for a very long time’ and she said ‘I’m here because you all don’t know how to live, I’m here to teach you all how to live and things to do!'” one of her granddaughters, Nefer Nekhet, told PIX11 at Murphy’s birthday.
Her secret to longevity was an active lifestyle and “Trust in God and be a good person.”
Funeral services will take place on Friday, Dec. 6 at the United House of Prayer for All People in Harlem. The viewing will be held from 5-7 p.m. and the funeral service will immediately follow.