Illinois' Oldest Resident Dies

Evelyn Margaret Ralston was 111 years old

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Allen Kaleta/for Pioneer Press
    Evelyn Margaret Ralston, 111, of Evanston was the oldest Illinois resident.

    Illinois' oldest resident has died.

    Evelyn Margaret Ralston, 111, of Evanston was born October 17, 1899 and according to the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group, was the nation's 17th oldest person and 52nd in the world.

    She died in her sleep.

    Ms. Ralston was born in Chicago and was a Cubs fan. She often bragged she saw the team win their last World Series in 1908, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    In a 2008 interview with NBC's Lester Holt, Ralston said, "I always watched the Cubs. We didn't live far from Wrigley Field when I was growing up."

    When Holt asked her about the secret to her longevity, she said she didn't really know. "I just grew up well, I haven't done anything special". She later told people it was because she never married or had children.

    Researchers studied Ralston's long life. She worked with Boston University Medical Center's New England Centenarian Study, a National Institute of Health funded project, probing longevity.

    Longevity runs in Ralston's family. Her father died at age 91 and her brothers died at ages 96, 95 and 80.