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Maggie James, Va.'s oldest person, dies at 112

Thursday - 6/7/2012, 11:29am  ET

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - Funeral services are scheduled Saturday for Virginia's oldest person, Maggie Margaret Montague James, who died at age 112.

Cedell Brooks Funeral Home in Port Royal says James died Friday. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Third Mount Zion Baptist Church in Woodford.

James was born March 10, 1900 in Woodford. She lived in Woodford until 2000, when she moved to the Bowling Green Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Following the doctor's orders was the key to James' longevity, her granddaughter, Vernessa Ware, told The Free Lance-Star ( http://bit.ly/LEeZqG).

James stuck with a strict diet that a doctor put her on in the 1930s because she had high blood pressure. She ate mainly chicken and fish, no pork and very little salt.

"Her health was pretty good ever since then," Ware said.

She outlived her husband, George Earnest James, whom she married in 1922, and the couple's two sons, George William James and Clarence Linwood James.

She was the oldest person in Virginia, the 12th oldest person in the United States and the 30th oldest person in the world as of May 27, said Stephen Coles of the Gerontology Research Group, which validates supercentenarians, people who are over the age of 110.

James' life revolved around her family and she loved attending church services. She received numerous visitors and flowers, said Sharon Johnson, activities assistant at Bowling Green Health and Rehabilitation Center.

An avid reader, James stressed to her family the value of an education.

She also kept her family afloat and helped others during the Great Depression. According to her obituary, she provided food from the family's farm to people in need.

"She sold eggs to keep the house. She raised chickens. She churned butter. She took care of everybody because she was just a strong woman," Ware said.

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Information from: The Free Lance-Star, http://www.fredericksburg.com/


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