Italy’s Emma Morano, the world’s oldest person, dies at 117

Italy's Emma Morano, the world's oldest person, dies at 117

ROME — Emma Morano, at 117 the world’s oldest person who is also believed to have been the last surviving person born in the 1800s, died Saturday at her home in northern Italy, her physician said.

Dr. Carlo Bava told The Associated Press by phone that Morano’s caretaker had called him to say she had stopped breathing in the afternoon while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania, a town on Italy’s Lake Maggiore.

Bava said he had last seen his patient on Friday when “she thanked me and held my hand,” as she did every time he called on her. While Morano had been increasingly spending more time sleeping and less time speaking in recent weeks, she had still eaten her daily raw egg and biscuits that day, he said.

A woman in Jamaica, Violet Brown, who was born in that Caribbean island on March 10, 1900, is now considered the oldest known person in the world, according to a list kept by the Gerontology Research Group. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness tweeted his congratulations to her.

Morano’s doctor, who lives a few blocks away from his patient, had been her physician for nearly a quarter of a century.

Morano, born on Nov. 29, 1899, had been living in a tidy, one-room apartment, where she was kept company by her caregiver and two elderly nieces.

“She didn’t suffer. I’m happy she didn’t suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly,” Bava said Saturday.

He said she had been her usual chatterbox self until a few weeks ago. Since then it was clear, “she was slowly fading away,” and spending nearly all day in bed, Bava said.

Last fall on her birthday, Morano declared: “I’m happy I have turned 117!”

Bava has previously told the AP that Morano lost a son to crib death when he was six months old.

Morano left her husband in 1938 because he would beat her. She “abandoned the husband in the Fascist era, when women were supposed to be very submissive,” Bava said in a 2015 interview. “She was always very decisive.”

Morano began working in a factory making jute bags when she was 16. Then she worked at a hotel, working way beyond the usual retirement age.

Beside work, she enjoyed herself. She was considered a good dancer with a beautiful singing voice in her youth.

She also defied health advice, Bava said Saturday. Some doctors had warned her against eating three eggs daily, which she did for years, but she ignored their advice.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School visited her in 2014 as part of a study into immunity to diseases, the Italian news agency ANSA said.

___

Frances D’Emilio is on twitter at www.twitter.com/fdemilio.

Frances D’Emilio, The Associated Press

Just Posted

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

22 teams compete in Sweetheart Curling Bonspiel

From February 9 to 11, the Sparwood Curling Club hosted it’s annual… Continue reading

Political theatre shines light on womens issues

The Vagina Monologues returned to Fernie last weekend for the second time,… Continue reading

Local rink heading to curling provincials

The Mens Masters East-West playdown took place in Sparwood from February 2-4.… Continue reading

Kootenay East MLA reacts to Throne Speech

Tom Shypitka says speech falls short of intended mark.

VIDEO: Traffic-sign abiding Fernie deer caught on tape

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

NDP Health Minister calls to offer woman seat on Interior Health Board

Joyce Beddow-Buckland of Ashcroft was surprised by the call, and accepted the offer.

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Most Read