Longest Living ABLA Homes Resident Dies


Mrs. Clementine Pettiford, 105 years of age, was recently laid to rest. Mrs. Pettiford was the longest living resident in the ABLA Homes community, formally known as the Hastings Street Housing Development.
Mrs. Pettiford was a resident in the ABLA Home community for 65 years. She was born September 28,1903, and died January 14, 2009.

Clementine Pettiford
1903 -2009
Photo by Quintana Woodridge

In her long life, Mrs. Pettiford has seen the world change dramatically, from President Theodore Roosevelt to the newly elected Barack Obama. Jacqueline Pettiford, Mrs. Pettiford’s daughter, sat down with me and talked about her mother’s life. “My mother was respected and loved by her neighbors,” Jacqueline said. “She kept many people out of trouble by looking out for them.”

Jacqueline told me her mother had nine children, three sons who preceded her in death and six daughters, four of whom preceded her in death.
Jacqueline, 64 and a resident of Chicago, and her sister, Helen Pettiford, 66, of Michigan, are Mrs. Pettiford’s only living children.
Jacqueline and her daughter Tyena took care of Mrs. Pettiford up to her last days. She married three times. Her husbands preceded her in death.

“My mother was out-going and loving,” Jacqueline said. “She had over 150 grandchildren and they all spent time with her over the years. She was in her right mind and she knew all of her family by name.”

Mrs. Pettiford worked at Marshall Fields and Goodwill stores. She spent her later years at the Reach Community Center, a program for senior citizens. Mrs. Pettiford liked gardening and going for walks through the community.

Jacqueline said her mother enjoyed her 105th birthday party and the family took a lot of pictures to mark the day. “She was so happy at her birthday party and glad to see her grandchildren grown up. She will be missed and we love her,” said Jacqueline.

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