Gerontology Wiki
Sarah Spires
Sarah Spires
Spires on her 110th birthday in 2020
Birth: 10 April 1910
Jackson County, Florida, USA
Death: 10 January 2022
Marianna, Florida, USA
Age: 111 years, 275 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Sarah Purdee Spires (née Purdee; 10 April 1910 – 10 January 2022) was an American supercentenarian whose age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).


Spires was born in Jackson County, Florida, USA on 10 April 1910. Her parents were Armstrong Purdee, the first black lawyer of Jackson County, and Gracie (née White) Purdee. She was the last surviving child out of three siblings and an adopted sister. Her grandmother Francis White was a full-blooded Seminole Indian.

She was a graduate of the historic White’s Beauty School and would later become an LPN. She cared for newborns, worked in the Jackson Hospital delivery room and assisted surgeons in the operating room.

She married her husband Willie E. Spires on 19 February 1934. They had 10 children (three deceased as of April 2020). The couple grew a varied vegetable garden and also had farm animals. Her husband died in 1956.

A lifelong member of New Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Spires served there as a Sunday school teacher, deaconess, choir member, and as church clerk for 27 years. She also could be counted on to labor in her kitchen to prepare food for church events.

She celebrated her 110th birthday in April 2020. On 16 March 2021, aged 110, she got vaccinated against Covid-19, making her one of the oldest people to receive the vaccine.

Spires died in Marianna, Florida, USA on 10 January 2022 at the age of 111 years, 275 days. At the time of her death, she was the third-oldest known living person in Florida, behind Ada Avila, and Frances Pisano.