Winonah Peters Greene enjoyed talking about her life, but there was one question she gently avoided: What was the secret to her longevity?

Mrs. Greene, 110, formerly of Philadelphia, died Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016, at an assisted living facility in Brooksville, Fla.

Over the years, as she celebrated milestone birthdays, the "supercentenarian" was often asked the inevitable question about how she had managed to live for so many years.

"So many people have asked me that," she told a Florida television station this year on her 110th birthday. "I have no secret. I had nothing to do with it."

Mrs. Greene was born in Petersburg, Va., on Jan. 13, 1906, to Grace Berry Peters and Clarence Peters as their second daughter. She received her early education in the Petersburg public schools.

She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in home economics from what is now Virginia State University. Her mother, a teacher, influenced her career choice.

She taught home economics to junior and senior high school students in Virginia and Philadelphia for many years. She loved working with children, relatives said. After retiring, she spent two decades as a payroll clerk for the Veterans Administration in Philadelphia.

She married Ervie Greene in 1942 and settled in Philadelphia. The couple had one child, Patricia, who died in 2013.

Mrs. Greene was initiated into the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in 1926, and remained an active life member until her death. This made her the oldest member of the first sorority to be founded by black college women, in 1908 at Howard University in Washington.

"This was a distinction she was extremely proud to obtain," said fellow sorority member Ashley D. Parker of Herndon, Va., who helped produce a video documentary of Mrs. Greene's life that is to be released this year.

In Philadelphia, Mrs. Greene was active in the civil rights movement and participated in marches for equality, said her granddaughter, Pamela Johnson. She attended a 1964 event in the city where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to her sorority's convention.

Mrs. Greene voted in her first presidential election in 1932, for Franklin D. Roosevelt. She beamed with pride when Barack Obama was elected the 44th president and sworn into office a week after her 103rd birthday.

"I knew it had to come, but I had no idea I'd live to see it," Mrs. Greene told the Tampa Bay Times in 2009. "It's quite an accomplishment for the country."

Mrs. Greene was a member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Philadelphia, where she served as secretary, assistant financial secretary, and assistant treasurer of the deaconess board. She also was chairwoman of the supervisory committee of the Mount Carmel Federal Credit Union.

In January 2006, Mrs. Greene moved to Florida to be with her daughter. She enjoyed making ceramic creations that she bestowed upon friends and family as gifts.

Last June, AKA members interviewed Mrs. Greene for the documentary. A family member cautioned them not to ask "the question."

"Apparently for her, there was no real secret to living that long," said Parker. "She never gave any tips or pointers. I think it was the life that she lived and that God just kept her here."

Mrs. Greene planned for her own mortality, her granddaughter said.

About six years ago, she wrote her own obituary - "They liked to travel, especially cruises," she wrote of her trips with her late husband. She also left detailed instructions for her funeral service, Johnson said.

According to the Gerontology Research Group, those who live to be 110 or older are referred to as "supercentenarians." There are about 1,000 supercentenarians worldwide, said Robert D. Young director of the group's Supercentenarian Research and Database Division.

Emma Morano, 116, of Italy, is believed to be the world's oldest person. Adele Dunlap of Hunterdon County, N.J., born on Dec. 12, 1902, is the oldest American. Delphine Gibson, 113, of Huntingdon, Pa., who was born Aug. 17 1903, is the oldest person in the commonwealth.

In addition to her granddaughter, Mrs. Greene is survived by a grandson; three great-grandsons; and a great-great grandson. Her husband died in 1983.

A viewing will be held Monday, Oct. 31, from 9 to 11 a.m., followed by services, at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 5732 Race St. An AKA service will be at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Chelten Hills Cemetery.

mburney@phillynews.com

856-779-3814@mlburney