DEWITT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS)—Irene Dunham is the 18th oldest living person in the world, and she turned 114-years-old on Dec. 16.
Dunham is living at a senior assisted living center in Dewitt Township and survived two pandemics. She even lived through the Bath Township Massacre, which is known as one of the deadliest school attacks in history.
She has been able to witness so much in history and told us about her experience with the Bath School Massacre that happened in 1927.
Dunham was only 19-years-old, and a senior in high school when the tragedy happened.
“I graduated from Bath school that was blown up way back years ago,” Dunham said.
Dunham told 6 News she stayed home from school due to a sore throat that day, and because of the massacre, 38 of her classmates died.
Andrew Kehoe was responsible for the bomb that killed 45 people, including himself, and left 58 other people with injuries. He was a former treasurer of the Bath Township School Board.
Dunham told 6 News it’s a tragedy she will never forget. Because of the Bath Township Massacre, she did not receive a diploma. Some good news, The Bath Township class of 1977 invited her 1927 class to their graduation ceremony.
“God bless them, they give their robes, and have us come in and have our ceremony,” Dunham said.
Dunham told 6 News that hard work is the secret to living a long life, and gardening is one of her favorite memories growing up.
This week she celebrates another strong year of life. Dunham bought her first car at 99 years old, and drove it until 106-years-old. She survived colon cancer, The Great Depression, two world wars, and two pandemics.
“I guess my kids tell me god knows he’s keeping me for something,” Dunham said. “So I look around and I wonder what’s he keeping me for.”