CANTON TOWNSHIP, Michigan — Living to old age is an important milestone for any person. Well, imagine if you were alive for more than a century. This is the reality of one woman in Metro Detroit.
Bonita Gibson settled comfortably in the nursing home. She is considered the oldest living person in Michigan at 112 years old after Irene Dunham died in 2022 at the age of 114.
Born July 4, 1911, Gibson has watched the world change right before her eyes. Born and raised in Missouri, she grew up on a farm and met her future husband Kenneth in high school.
“He was a high school student and I was a sophomore,” she said. From that moment on, life slowly took off, but not without a few setbacks, such as the Great Depression.
Gibson recalls that there were difficult times at the time, but they got through it.
“We had chickens, a huge garden and all kinds of fruit trees. We had a lot of food. We just didn’t have the money to spend it,” she said.
Gibson’s husband had a relative who owned a farm in Idaho. In the 1930s they joined him. This opportunity introduced them to the potato industry.
“He said Kenny could help me in the fields and you could be the cook and I’ve never cooked anything in my life.”
Gibson says she and her family have continued to grow over the years. The couple had one son. He is now 85 years old and lives in Florida.
“The labor was extremely difficult, so I thought I don’t think I want to do it again,” Gibson joked.
As a super-long-liver, Gibson says she has seen clothes and entertainment change dramatically over the years.
Looking back on life, she remembered her fondest memories of the 1950s and 60s.
“We went dancing every Saturday with a group of friends,” she said.
Bonita was married for 74 years until Ken’s death in the early 2000s. CBS News Detroit asked what kept them together for so long. The humorous senior said her husband would have responded, “I would have taken her home a few times, but we didn’t have any money, so we had to stay together.”
After her husband’s death, she eventually made it to the Detroit metro, where her grandchildren lived.
For those wondering how to live a long life, Gibson advises avoiding junk food and trying to exercise.
“Do not smoke or drink. Actually, take away all the good things, ”she laughed.
Having lived for over 100 years, Bonita still has a lot to do. Now she enjoys watching The Price Is Right every day and chatting with her friends.
Bonita said that the only place she always wanted to visit was San Diego. When she was 100 years old, she made her first airplane flight.