The world's oldest known person, French nun Lucile Randon, dead at 118

© Nicolas Tucat, AFP

The world's oldest known person, French nun Lucile Randon, has died aged 118, a spokesman told AFP on Tuesday.

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.

Guinness World Records officially acknowledged her status in April 2022.

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.

One of her fondest memories was the return of two of her brothers at the end of World War I, she told AFP in an interview on her 116th birthday.

"It was rare, in families, there were usually two dead rather than two alive. They both came back," she said.

She worked as a governess in Paris -- a period she once called the happiest time of her life -- for the children of wealthy families.

She converted to Catholicism and was baptised at the age of 26.

Driven by a desire to "go further", she joined the Daughters of Charity order of nuns at the relatively late age of 41.

(AFP)


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