World’s oldest known person dies weeks before 119th birthday

Lucile Randon, known as Sister Andre, died aged 118 at the Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home in the town of Toulon.

French nun thought to be world’s oldest known person dies weeks before 119th birthday in Toulon, France Guinness World Records via Supplied

A French nun who was believed to be the world’s oldest person has died at the age of 118, a spokesman for her nursing home said on Wednesday.

Lucile Randon, known as Sister Andre, died on Tuesday at 2am at the Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home in the town of Toulon.

Sister Andre, who was born in the town of Ales in southern France on February 11 1904, was just weeks away from turning 119.

The Gerontology Research Group, which validates details of people thought to be 110 or older, listed her as the oldest known person in the world after the death of Japan’s Kane Tanaka, aged 119, last year.

She was also one of the world’s oldest survivors of Covid-19.

Sister Andre tested positive for coronavirus in January 2021, shortly before her 117th birthday, but she had so few symptoms that she did not even realise she was infected.

In April last year, asked about her exceptional longevity through two World Wars, she told French media that “working … makes you live. I worked until I was 108.”

She was known to enjoy chocolate and a glass of wine daily.

The oldest living known person in the world listed by the Gerontology Research Group is now American-born Maria Branyas Morera, who is living in Spain, and is 115.