Paris: The world’s oldest known person, French nun Lucile Randon, has died aged 118, media reports said. Randon, known as Sister Andre, was born in southern France on February 11, 1904, when World War I was still a decade away.
She died in her sleep at her nursing home in Toulon, spokesman David Tavella said. “There is great sadness but… it was her desire to join her beloved brother. For her, it’s a liberation,” Tavella, of the Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home, told AFP.
The sister was long feted as the oldest European, before the death of Japan’s Kane Tanaka aged 119 last year left her the longest-lived person on Earth. Randon was born in the year New York opened its first subway and when the Tour de France had only been staged once.
She grew up in a Protestant family as the only girl among three brothers, living in the southern town of Ales, and worked as a governess in Paris — a period she once called the happiest time of her life — for the children of wealthy families.
Randon told reporters last year that her work and caring for others had kept her spry. “People say that work kills, for me work kept me alive, I kept working until I was 108,” she told reporters in April last year in the tearoom of the home.