New Jersey's oldest resident joined an exclusive club this week when she celebrated her 110th birthday. Melva Radcliffe, a Paterson native, is one of only 89 people in the world to have lived for at least 11 decades, according to a published report.
Radcliffe will officially become the world's newest super-centenarian once authorities verify her birth records – a feat attained perhaps through decades of traveling, an optimistic life view, daily walks or her regular glasses of whiskey, reports NJ.com.
However Radcliffe sustained her life and health this long, she doesn't know for sure.
"God doesn't want me yet," a grinning Radcliffe told state Sen. Sean Kean when he asked her during her birthday party on Wednesday, reports NJ.com.
Radcliffe married for the first time when she was well into her 60s. She never had children. Her husband died 10 years into their marriage, however, and she later decided to wed the widower of her best friend, who had died a few months prior, reports NJ.com.
Family members said Radcliffe entered in a teaching program at what is now William Paterson University when she was just 15 years old and later took graduate classes, but opted to travel the world instead of earn a master's degree, reports NJ.com.
Today, the 110-year-old woman continues to enjoy the little things, including the package of Oreos she unwrapped as a gift from her 26-year-old great-great-grandniece, according to the website.
And while her eyesight may not be as strong as it used to be, the vigorous personality that's no doubt contributed to her longevity remains unchanged by age.
"The only parts of her that are 109 years old are her vision and hearing," her doctor told NJ.com last week. "She's anything but average."