Former oldest living Kansan passes away at 112

Margaret Hollenshead passed away Friday, just days after her 112th birthday. She's seen here...
Margaret Hollenshead passed away Friday, just days after her 112th birthday. She's seen here celebrating her 109th birthday. (File photo)(WIBW)
Published: Apr. 29, 2023 at 12:05 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Margaret B. Hollenshead, the former oldest living Kansan, passed away peacefully Friday at 112-years-old. She died just six days after her birthday.

Hollenshead was a lover of music, and was the longtime music supervisor at Chanute Public Schools. She taught four generations of students.

Barbie Baughn, the director of Credo Senior Living Center in Chanute, had Hollenshead under her care for seven years. Baughn said that Hollenshead never lost her love of music, and would still occasionally play the piano.

The day before her birthday, students from Chanute Elementary School came to sing to Hollenshead.

“She was sitting in her chair directing them with her fingers,” Baughn said Saturday. “It was so cute.”

Baughn said everyone at Credo “lived on Margaret time.”

“She pretty much just did as she wanted, and we let her, of course,” Baughn said. “What else do you do when you’re 111 or 112?”

Born on April 22, 1911, Hollenshead was what’s known as a supercentenarian, meaning someone who lives to be 110-years-old or older. In a study by the Boston University Medical Campus, it’s estimated that there is only one supercentenarian per 871,600 people in the world’s population.

She lived on this earth for over 40,800 days — through two world wars, Prohibition, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, the civil rights movement, and other monumental world events.

12 News visited Chanute last week to cover Hollenshead’s birthday celebration. You can read about it here.