JOHNSTON, IA (CNN/WHO) -- She was 15 when the Titanic sank and 21 when World War I started. Now, at 115 years old, she's being celebrated as the oldest person alive.
About eight months ago, she celebrated a milestone with her family. Now, the whole world is celebrating with her. Her grandson Dennis Russo says, "My daughter called me I thought something had happened. she says 'Well, grandma's got the title', I guess that's what you'd call it."
And a pretty impressive title at that. At 115-years-old, Dina Manfredini is officially the oldest living person on the planet. Russo says, "You tell people, 'Well, my grandmother is 115 years old, and they go what?' It's almost like they don't want to believe you."
But it's true. And Dennis Russo has years of memories with her to prove it. He says, "We talk about the food, she was a tremendous cook."
And even though Dina doesn't cook anymore, she remains a legend in the kitchen. Russo says, "She used to make this what she called a rice cake. It was a pie with rice, the lattice crust on top and it was really something."
Maybe the secret to her long life lives in those recipes, but he'll never know for sure. Russo says, "To duplicate her cooking is almost impossible."
And that seems to be the perfect balance Dina has found in all aspects of her life. From work to family, she is just enjoying what life has to offer.
That "perfect balance" seems to be the trend here in Iowa. Machelle Shaffer with the Iowa Dept. on Aging says, "Working hard, living well, living healthy. Those are the things we hear all the time from older Iowans."
It must be working. To date Iowa is home to 846 people who have passed that century mark. Shaffer says, "We have a centenarian registry that we keep updated all the time, I mean, everyday, or every week, we'll get calls about someone new to add to the registry who are 100 or older."
So when the call came in about Dina, Russo says, "It didn't really surprise us. But it's a real honor."
And the hope is for Iowa's younger generations to follow in her footsteps.