Kathleen Hayes Snavely, who at 111 years and 328 days old became the longest-living Irish-born person in history last Thursday, is getting a lot of attention since IrishCentral's report on her last week.
Snavely will turn 112 next month. Her longevity was first noted in early January by the Irish Times, using information provided by the Gerontology Research Group.
Syracuse.com reports that the County Clare native, who for the past few years has lived in Geddes at the Centers for St Camillus, a health and rehabilitation center, has shied away from the attention but friends and family praise her, calling her "feisty" with "a great sense of humor."
Donna Moore, whose grandfather was the brother of Kathleen's first husband Roxie, said: "She is just so delightful, and so sharp, and has such a great sense of humor."
Friend Joan Casey said: "She was just an extremely friendly person, someone you loved spending time with."
Karen White, the owner of Julie's Place, a restaurant at the Regency Tower, where Kathleen lived until well past her 100th birthday, said Snavely was "just unbelievable."
"She didn't use a hearing aid, she didn't wear glasses and she didn't use a cane."
To many, Snavely remains a "fitting symbol of indomitable Irish-American grit."
"She's one in a million," said Sister Kathleen Osbelt, a good friend and the founder of Francis House, a hospice located in Syracuse. "She's feisty, she's worked very hard and she's enjoyed her life; she's always been one to keep her sense of humor."
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