April 24, 2007 by Joseph Krohn
SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (AP) – Two of the oldest people in the United States met Saturday. A relative drove 113-year-old Bertha Fry of Muncie to a Shelbyville nursing home to visit Edna Parker, who celebrated her 114th birthday Friday. Members of both families attended the meeting along with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who presented Parker with a Sagamore of the Wabash. The award recognizes Hoosiers who have endeared themselves to the people of Indiana. A representative of Guinness World Records also was on hand to confirm the event. The women’s combined age is more than that in any other meeting of two humans on record. Together, they accounted for 227 years and 142 days as of Saturday, breaking the previous record of 219 years. “I’m glad you have come,” Parker told Fry. “We have a lot to be thankful for.”
Parker, born April 20, 1893, became the second-oldest person in the world in January. She took that spot following the death of Emma Faust Tillman of East Hartford, Conn., who was 114 and 67 days old when she died, according to the California-based Gerontology Research Group. The only person older than Parker is Yone Minagawa of Japan, who turned 114 on Jan. 4. The group lists Fry, born Dec. 1, 1893, as the third-oldest person in the United States and the fifth-oldest in the world. Both Parker and Fry are former school teachers.