111-year-old Houston woman shares secrets to longevity

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's no longer unusual to know or hear about someone who's at least 100 years old these days. In fact, there were more than 90,000 people in the U.S. who were over 100 years old in 2020, according to the Census Bureau.
But, a Houston woman has gone 11 years past the century mark.

Elizabeth Francis is now an incredible 111 years old. When asked her secret to longevity, Francis said "the Lord just blessed me."

She goes on to say, "I say, 'Thank you Lord' when I wake up in the morning, and I thank him when I go to bed."

ABC13 was there last year when she turned 110. She even had Mayor Sylvester Turner as her special guest at her party.

SEE ALSO: 110-year-old Houston woman credits longevity to faith in God
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Francis was born in Louisiana in 1909. The Houstonian celebrated her 110th birthday on Saturday.



Francis gets proclamations from the city and state every year she reaches another milestone. As for what she eats to stay healthy, her response is "everything."

"No, I'm not on a diet," she said. "I just eat what I feel like eating, what I know I like."

Francis lives with her daughter, who is 92 years old. Her granddaughter, Ethel Harrison, keeps a watchful eye on both of them. Harrison said people don't believe her when she tells people her grandmother's age.

Harrison has her own theory about why her family members live so long. Francis's oldest sister lived to be 106, and her baby sister lived until she was 95.

"I think for them, it was the food that they ate," Harrison says. "They cooked everything, and it was fresh. My grandmother had a garden."

But there's a surprising twist to this story. Francis is not only one of the oldest people in Texas, she also worked at Channel 13 in the 70s. She recently reconnected with old friend ABC13 anchor emeritus Dave Ward via Facetime to catch up on some memories.

Ward recalls when Francis ran the coffee shop and remembered her for always closing on time.

When a former mayor wanted to order after close, Ward said, "One of the managers walked down to the coffee shop and said, 'The mayor would like a hamburger.' Miss Elizabeth said 'The grill is closed, the mayor don't need no hamburger.'"

Francis said, "I say what I want when I want."

Her life continues to be full these days thanks to her church, Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church, and her family.

In addition to her daughter, she also has three grandchildren, four great-grandkids, and two great-great-grandsons.

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