101-Year-Old Great-Grandmother in Heartwarming Viral Photo Dies

Photo of woman with great-granddaughter receives overwhelming response online.

ByABC News
March 31, 2015, 1:48 PM
Rosa Camfield, 101, passed away on March 30, 2015 after this photo went viral online.
Rosa Camfield, 101, passed away on March 30, 2015 after this photo went viral online.
Courtesy Sarah Hamm

— -- Rosa Camfield, a 101-year-old woman featured in a photo holding her great-granddaughter, has died -- even as the photo continues to burn up the Internet, inspiring others to post multi-generational images.

The photo initially was posted by Camfield's granddaughter Sarah Hamm, who was shocked to learn it was being shared by millions across the Internet.

"Grandma was always happy, I mean, she was smart as a whip, even at 101," Hamm, 33, told ABC News. "She was funny and had lots of stories.

"She passed away last night, so this was very bittersweet," Hamm added. "The photo was taken by me of my daughter Kaylee when she was 2 weeks old. It was actually the day she was being released in the hospital, so we were hoping that Grandma would get to meet her.

Hamm of Gilbert, Arizona, posted the photo on St. Patrick's Day of her grandmother and now-3-week-old newborn to share with Facebook friends.Two days later, she was notified that the picture was being circulated around the Web, eventually landing on the page Life of Dad.

"We were in complete shock that the picture took off like it did," said the co-founder of the blog, Patrick Quinn. "When I posted it I thought a few of our fans would feel connected to it as I did. Then, within an hour, it was clear that I had underestimated the impact it would have with people as it was shared and liked hundreds of times per minute."

Hamm's photo currently has 2.5 million likes and over 77,000 shares on the Life of Dad Facebook page.

In a touching twist, other users began sharing photos of their loved ones, as well, with many of the photos featuring multiple generations.

"Some pictures had five generations of family members in one picture," said Quinn. "One had a woman and her great, great-granddaughter with a 112-year difference to them. The organic response by everyone as a whole was just breathtaking."

With her grandmother now gone, Hamm said she is pleased with the overwhelming response her photo created.

"I think its really sweet," she said. "I didn’t realize so many people are so much older. The stories people will be able to tell their grandchildren and great-grandchildren is just amazing."

Camfield was born on June 13, 1913, on Friday the 13th.

She went back to school to become a teacher when she was 43 and lived much of her life in the state of Michigan.

"My grandma would've loved this," said Hamm. "She would probably yell at me for taking a bad picture of her, but no, she would probably say it melts her heart."