Morris, at age 110, wearing the hat presented to her by the Red Hat Society in October 2005.
3 August 1895
(age 114 years, 228 days)
Ames, Iowa, United States
|Residence||Ames, Iowa, United States|
|Title||World's second oldest living person since March 7, 2010; Oldest living person in the United States.|
Neva Morris (née Freed; born August 3, 1895) who, at the age of Mary Josephine Ray on March 7, 2010. Morris is also the oldest American. On December 22, Neva Morris aged 114 years 141 days surpassed Olivia Patricia Thomas as the oldest Iowan ever verified. On February 13, 2010, Morris became one of the 40 oldest people ever.114 years, 228 days, is the second oldest verified living person in the world following the death of 114-year-old
Born in Ames, Iowa, where she has lived her entire life, to Schuyler and Carebie Freed as the youngest of four children. Neva Freed married Edward Leonard Morris in 1914. The couple had four children: Leslee, Mary Jane, Walter, and Betty Lee. They lived with Edward’s parents, Gertrude Rutherford and Walter Leonard Morris, on a farm encompassing 224 acres of land. She assisted in helping her four children attend Iowa State University by raising chickens, hogs and dairy cattle.
Neva's son-in-law, 90-year-old Tom Wickersham, who lives in the same retirement home as Neva, said “It didn’t hurt that she worked hard all her life and ate hearty and healthy meals prepared from meat, dairy products and vegetables produced on the farm.” Walter Morris, age 82, Neva’s youngest son and only living child, believes that her secret is her passion for fast cars, as witnessed by her 80-year accident-free driving record. Aged 90 years, she purchased a 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis. She discontinued driving when she was 95 years of age.
She is a member of PEO Chapter OH, a 60-year member of Collegiate United Methodist Church, and for 75 years was active in Eastern Star. She also enjoyed singing in women’s choral groups, including one in Gilbert and the Story County Women’s Chorus under the direction of Max Exner. Neva particularly loves to sing “You Are My Sunshine.”
Neva's husband Edward died in the 1960s. At age 99 Neva moved from her farm home to North Grand Care Center and later to Northcrest Community in 1998. Although facing hearing and vision challenges, Neva still enjoys visiting with her close relatives and spending time with her eight grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and several great-great-grandchildren.