(KTXL) — The oldest living person in the United States lives in Northern California and is getting ready for another birthday celebration.
Edith ‘Edie’ Ceccarelli, 114, lives in the community of Willits and will be celebrated with a drive-by parade on Sunday, Feb. 5.
Ceccarelli’s birthday in recent years has become a community celebration in Willits, a small city in Mendocino County with a population of 4,988.
For Ceccarelli’s birthday celebration, a huge turnout is expected, despite rain in the forecast. In Willits, the parade route will begin on Haehl Creek Drive and will continue in front of Cecceralli’s address on 414 Grove Street.
Parade organizers have suggested drivers decorate their cars with signs, balloons, and flags, as they pass by Cecceralli’s house.
A look at Edie Ceccarelli’s life
Throughout her long life, Ceccearelli was described as someone who is “outgoing,” “friendly,” and a “loving person,” according to family members that spoke with FOX40 News.
“People ask her what her secret to a long life is and she would say a glass of wine at night and a healthy attitude,” Ceccarelli’s second cousin Lee Perisco said in a phone interview Friday.
Born in 1908 with Recagno as her maiden name, Ceccarelli is the third-oldest person in the world and has lived in California her entire life.
She was born in Willits and lived in several different places throughout Northern California such as Eureka, Santa Rosa, and Ukiah.
According to a short biography from a previous birthday parade, Ceccarelli lived independently until she was 107 and danced weekly until she was 104.
Ceccarelli is a pillar of the community, walking downtown to socialize with local businesses while she was living independently.
When she turned 100, Ceccarelli invited people to her celebration by taking out an ad in the local paper in Willits.
“She’s one of these people that people are just drawn to,” said Edelyn Persico, Lee’s wife.
A perspective on Ceccarelli’s life
When she was born in 1908, Theodore Roosevelt was president and Babe Ruth didn’t play baseball in the Majors yet, as his rookie year was in 1914.
To put a perspective on Ceccarelli’s age, she was still a child when World War I began, and sliced bread wasn’t even sold until she was 20.
Ceccarelli later lived with her first husband Breck Keenan in Santa Rosa, where she worked for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Lee Prisco said. Ceccarelli and Keenan were married for over 50 years.
Her first husband died after they moved back to Willits, but she found love again, marrying a man named Charles Ceccarelli, who was from Ukiah, a city south of Willits. They lived together in Ukiah and were married for five years until he passed away.
She moved back to Willits afterward and has lived there since. She’s currently in care at the Holy Spirit Residential Care Home, which is hosting the supercentenarian’s birthday.
When putting Edie Cecceralli’s life in perspective, Edelyn Perisco describes it as “incredible.”
“Just knowing that you are part of this woman’s life, it’s just hard to wrap your head around,” Edelyn Persico said. “I feel so privileged to have this time with her.”