Entertainment

America’s oldest woman dies aged 115, eight months after she was awarded the title

A 115-year-old Nebraska woman who recently became the oldest person in America – and who attributed her longevity to never having children – has died. 

Thelma Sutcliffe, of Omaha, died at the age of 115 years and 108 days at an assisted living facility on Monday – eight months after becoming the oldest living person in the US. 

The cause of death has yet to be revealed. 

‘She died very peacefully,’ said Sutcliffe’s friend, Luella Mason.

‘It was time, she was ready.’ 

Sutcliffe credit her long life to never having children, never smoking, and ‘never worrying about anything’, she told AARP in May 2021. 

She had survived two bouts of breast cancer over the course of her life.  

Thelma Sutcliffe, center, is shown with a birthday cake in October 2019, in Omaha, Nebraska Sutcliffe for her 114th birthday

Sutcliffe, pictured, who was the oldest person in the US, died on Monday at age 115, according to a family member

Sutcliffe, pictured, who was the oldest person in the US, died on Monday at age 115, according to a family member

Pictured: a photograph of Thelma as a young woman, possibly her engagement photo, according to her friend Luella Mason

Pictured: a photograph of Thelma as a young woman, possibly her engagement photo, according to her friend Luella Mason

Bessie Hendricks is now the oldest validated person living in the United States at 114 years and 75 days following Sutcliffe’s death on Monday, however American-born Maria Branyas Morera, who lives in Spain, is technically the oldest at 114 years and 323 days old.

Prior to her passing, Sutcliffe’s hearing and sight had significantly deteriorated, however, Mason said her mind was still ‘very sharp’ at the time of her death. 

The super-centenarian had taken the place of the nation’s oldest living person and seventh-oldest in the world on April 17, 2021, when Hester Ford, a 115-year-old woman, died in North Carolina, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Sutcliffe was born on October 1, 1906, when Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House, and got married at the age of 17 in 1924.  

She had received her COVID shots at the earliest opportunity, but repeatedly refused to get tested for the coronavirus.

Sutcliffe, pictured, became the oldest American on April 17, 2021, according to the Gerontology Research Group

Pictured: Sutcliffe in a photo taken the day before her 115th birthday

Sutcliffe, pictured, became the oldest American on April 17, 2021, according to the Gerontology Research Group

Prior to Sutcliffe’s death, her longtime friend, Mason, said she looked at the swab and said, ‘You’re not going to be sticking that thing up my nose. You can tell Lou to stick it up hers.’

She had told Mason that what she wants most is to eat with her friend following a year of pandemic restrictions. 

Mason, who has Sutcliffe’s power of attorney, said he had to call the senior living center 24 hours ahead of time to schedule visits with Sutcliffe. 

‘She (asked) me every time I visited, ‘Are you going to eat with me today?”‘ Mason recalled of Sutcliffe.

‘It breaks my heart that I (couldn’t).’ 

Kane Tanaka, the oldest living person in the world, just recently celebrated her 119th birthday in Japan earlier this month

The world's oldest living man, Saturnino de la Fuente García, pictured, of Spain, died at 112 just a day after Sutcliffe died

Kane Tanaka, left, the oldest person in the world, just recently celebrated her 119th birthday, while the world’s oldest man, Saturnino de la Fuente García, right, died at 112 on Tuesday

Pictured: Bessie Hendricks

Pictured: Maria Branyas Morera

Bessie Hendricks, left, is now the oldest person living in the US at 114 years, 75 days, but American-born Maria Branyas Morera, of Spain, is technically the oldest at 114 years, 323 days

Mason added: ‘Thelma (was) as determined as ever to do what she wants to do.’ 

Her nephew, Robert Sorenson, who is 94 years old, is the last living relative.

‘I am the last closest relative that she has. She was very important to me. She was good to me and my siblings all throughout the years,’ Sorenson said. 

When asked by AARP back in May about how she regarded being the oldest American, she quipped ‘we don’t have to talk about that.’ 

Meanwhile, a day after Sutcliffe died, the world’s oldest living man, Saturnino de la Fuente García of Spain, died at 112, according to a statement  by the Guinness World Records.

Kane Tanaka, the oldest living person in the world, just celebrated her 119th birthday in Japan this month.


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button