Longevity Warrior sister Andre, the French nun thought to be the world's oldest person, died in her sleep on January 17, 2023 at the age of 118, according to David Tavella, a spokesman for Sainte Catherine Laboure nursing home in the port city of Toulon, southern France.
"There is great sadness, but ... it was her desire to join her beloved brother. It's a liberation for them," Tavella said.
Sister Andre, born Lucile Randon, was born on February 11, 1904 in the town of Ales in southern France. The super centenarian lived through two world wars, the Vichy regime, the Great Depression, Les Annees Folles of the 1920s, the Declaration of the Fifth Republic, the May '68 riots, the Spanish flu, the Cold War, the armistice, the beginnings of the Internet, 10 popes, 18 different French presidents and more recently she made headlines for surviving COVID-19 with minimal symptoms.
Asked if she is scared of having Covid, the nun told French BFM TV: ', I wasn't scared because I wasn't scared of dying... I'm happy to be with you but I am wish I was somewhere else - join my big brother and my grandfather and my grandmother."
“She didn't ask me about her health, but about her routine. For example, she wanted to know if the meal and bedtimes would change. She showed no fear of the disease but was more worried about the other residents," Tavella said.
When asked about her exceptional longevity and resilience throughout her impressive life, Sister Andre told French media that "work...makes you live. I worked until I was 108.”
As a young child at school, she first encountered electricity when she turned on the light. Electricity was a new word for her to learn and one that she said was "a joy". Sister Andre worked as a governess and as a governess before entering a convent in 1944 at the age of 40.
In 2020, Sister Andre told French radio she had no idea how she had lived for so long. "I have no idea what the secret is. Only God can answer that question,” she said. "I have experienced many misfortunes in life and during the war of 1914-1918, when I was a child, I suffered like everyone else."
She was known for enjoying a daily glass of wine, port or champagne with some chocolate, in fact, this is how she toasted her 117th level in 2021. Unfortunately, recently, Sister Andre's health has deteriorated, she has been disabled by infirmities with poor hearing, loss of sight and her face has been distorted by joint pains.
In a statement, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte paid tribute to "this altruistic figure, whom the French saw as a reference, a source of pride and attachment".
Sister Andre isn't the only French SuperAger, Jeanne Calment was another French woman also living in the south of France with an exceptional longevity, passing away in 1997 at the age of 122 when Calment was said to hold the record for longevity.
Following the death of Japanese woman Kane Tanaka at the age of 119 last year, the Gerontology Research Group listed Sister Andre as the world's oldest known person. w, with the death of Sister Andre, the oldest known person in the world, according to the group's validated details, is American-born Maria Branyas Morera, who has climbed 115 levels and lives in Spain.
Supercentenarian (over 110 years old) status is reached by about 1 in 1,000 centenarians (100-109 years old). Supercentenarians typically live lives largely free of serious age-related diseases until nearing their maximum human lifespan.
A 2021 genome study identified genetic traits that protect against age-related diseases, particularly variants that enhance DNA repair. Five variants were found to be significant, affecting the genes STK17A (increased expression) and COA1 (reduced expression). Supercentenarians also had unexpectedly low levels of somatic mutations.
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