GRG News for 2017


Marie-Josephine Gaudette, Oldest Nun Ever, Dies at 115

July 21, 2017; Marie-Josephine Gaudette, recognised by the Gerontology Research Group as the oldest verified nun ever recorded, passed away in Rome, Lazio, Italy on July 13, 2017, at the age of 115 years, 110 days. At the time of her death, Gaudette was the oldest living American citizen and the oldest living Italian resident. She was also the second oldest living person in Europe and the oldest person ever born in the US state of New Hampshire.

Born in Manchester, New Hampshire, United States on March 25, 1902, Gaudette became a nun at a young age and later taught art and music in Canada and France. In 1958, she settled in a convent in Rome, Italy, where she was known as Sister Cecilia.

In 2008, aged 106, Gaudette voted for Barack Obama in the US presidential election. At the time, she was hard of hearing but lucid, keeping herself informed by reading newspapers and watching TV at her convent. In 2013 she appeared briefly in the Hunter Weeks film Walter: Lessons from the World's Oldest People.

Marie-Josephine Gaudette was validated with documents provided by the Paolo Scarabaggio, GRG correspondent for Italy.

To read an obituary article in full, click here.

Marie-Josephine Gaudette, 115


Virginia Moyano, Oldest Verified Person Ever from Argentina, Dies at 113

June 23, 2017; Virginia Moyano, recognised by the Gerontology Research Group as the oldest verified person ever from Argentina, passed away in La Rioja, Argentina on June 20, 2017, at the age of 113 years, 34 days.

Born as Secundina Virginia Moyano Ponce on 17 May 1904, she was the sixth of eight children born to Jose Moyano and Casimira Ponce.

At the age of 108, Moyano moved into the San Jose Nursing Home with her niece, Maria Olga Gallo Moyano. When asked for the secret to her longevity, she said "remembering beautiful memories that make you laugh". She never married and has no children, but has a large number of nephews and nieces. At the age of 112, she still ate pies, pizza, eggs and gelatin.

Virginia Moyano was validated with documents provided by the Nicolas Ruiz Moreno, GRG correspondent for Argentina.

To read an obituary article in full, click here.

Virginia Moyano, 111


Bienvenida Vergara Jaen de Cano, Oldest Verified Person Ever from Panama, Dies at 113

June 23, 2017; Bienvenida Vergara Jaen de Cano, recognised by the Gerontology Research Group as the oldest verified person ever from Panama, passed away in Las Tablas, Panama on June 6, 2017, at the age of 113 years, 61 days.

Born in Las Tablas, she was the first of 12 children born to Silverio Vergara and Francisca Jaen de Vergara. She married Elias Cano in 1922 and had two daughters. At the age of 108, she still had a living brother, Hipolito.

To read an obituary article, click here.

Bienvenida Vergara Jaen de Cano, 112


Emma Morano, of Italy, 117, Oldest Living Person, dies

Emma Morano, 116

April 15, 2017; The Gerontology Research Group would like to honor the life of Emma Martina Luigia Morano, of Verbania, Italy, who passed away at the age of 117 on Saturday afternoon, April 15, 2017, at about 4:40pm local time sitting up in her chair. Born on November 29, 1899, Emma was the last known verified person to be born in the 19th century, so her life spanned three centuries. In May 2016, Emma Morano was recognized by Guinness World Records for having the titles of Oldest Living Person and Oldest Living Woman.

Raised in Vercelli, Italy, the oldest of eight siblings, Emma Morano later moved to Verbania on the shores of Lake Maggiore, Italy where she remained for the majority of her life. Emma was engaged to a man who was called to the front during the First World War. Devastatingly, she never saw him again and assumed he had died. She married Giovanni Martinuzzi in 1926. She gave birth to her only child in 1937, who died at 6 months old. She separated from Martinuzzi the next year, but never divorced him. She worked in a jute factory and at a boarding school kitchen. She retired at 75, more than 40 years ago.

Longevity seems to run in Morano's family: Her mother lived to 91, and some of her sisters made it to a century. But it was the peculiar diet she began after World War I that Morano says helped her become one of the oldest people ever. When she was a teenager, a doctor suggested that Morano eat raw eggs to combat her anemia. She followed a stringent diet of two raw eggs, one cooked egg, a little minced meat and pasta for the past 90 years. As a supercentenarian who lived in her apartment being taken care of by caregivers, she enjoyed a steady stream of visitors, including when she was recognized as the oldest person in the world. Several Gerontology Research Group correspondents had the honor of getting to meet and know Emma Morano during her amazing life!


South America's Oldest Living Resident Turns 113

March 24, 2017; Born Luzia Morhs in Pommern, Germany on March 23, 1904, Sister Maria Electis celebrated her 113th birthday in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Surrounded by love and affection, she enjoys a serene lifestyle. She emigrated to Brazil in 1939 and has resided there ever since. Described as a woman of strong spirit, she has been the oldest verified living person in South America since the death of 113 year old Alida Rudge on December 23, 2016. Sister Electis is also the oldest living German person in the world and the first immigrant case validated in Brazil.

She was validated due to international cooperation between Ricardo Pereira Lago, GRG-Correspondent for Brazil and Stefan Jamin, GRG-Correspondent for Germany.

Luzia Mohrs, 113


Wolf administration honors America's oldest resident, Pennsylvanian Delphine Gibson

March 4, 2017; FOX43 reports that Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne visited Huntingdon County resident Delphine Gibson, who is 113 years old. The Gerontology Research Group, which validates longevity and tracks supercentenarians, verified that as of February 28, 2017, Ms. Gibson is the oldest American resident.

Ms. Gibson was born in South Carolina on August 17, 1903, and following her marriage to Taylor Gibson in 1928, they moved to Pennsylvania where they raised their three children, Frank, Moody, and Ella.

"She credits her longevity to her faith in God, church, and church family," said Kammi Plummer, director of admissions and community outreach at AristaCare. "She loves singing gospel, eating good Southern food, and taking naps. She's a delight to everyone she meets. We are truly blessed to have her with us."

To read the article, click here.

Delphine Gibson, 113


Eldest living Belgian aged 110

February 8, 2017; The Gerontology Research Group has been mentioned in an article in The Brussels Times on the oldest living Belgian.

Fernande De Raeve (aged 110) is now the eldest living Belgian.

This comes after the death yesterday (Tuesday) of Alicia Van den Berghe-Corveleyn, aged 112. It emerges from statistics from the Belgian department of the Gerontology Research Group.

To read the article, click here.


113-year-old Virginia woman who was second-oldest American passes away, but her influence lives on

February 8, 2017; The Gerontology Research Group has been mentioned in an obituary of Meta Dishman, a 113 year old woman from Virginia.

Born Meta Holmes on June 1, 1903, Dishman grew up with 10 siblings and formed a deep connection with the rural community where she lived. She became a deaconess at First Mount Olive Baptist Church in Newtown later in life and tended the church grounds.

Dishman worked in Washington, D.C., and Boston, Mass., during her adulthood, but returned often to visit her relatives and congregation until she permanently moved to Virginia in the late 1980s.

Dishman, described as compassionate, adventurous and fiercely independent, died on Jan. 20 in Tappahannock. She was 113 years and 233 days old, making her the second-oldest validated living American resident and the oldest African-American woman in the U.S. at the time.

To read the article, click here.


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