Tuesday, February 1, 2011
World's Oldest Person Passes Through Transition
By James Achanyi-Fontem
Eunice Sanborn,114, from Texas, USA died on Monday, January 31, 2011, Eunice was believed to be the world's oldest person on earth until she passed away, although she had maintained she was actually 115.
Eunice Sanborn died at 6 a.m. at her home in Jacksonville, her close friend and caretaker, David French, told the Jacksonville Daily Progress. David French, Sanborn's “adopted” son and caretaker, said her death was a peaceful one.“The Lord just called her home,” he said. “He had been using her as a powerful witness for 115 years.
“It was a very peaceful death. She was not uncomfortable.”
Sanborn has been a Jacksonville icon for years, thanks to her involvement in the community and her ownership of Love's Lookout. She rose to nationwide fame in April 2010, however, when she was declared the oldest living person in the U.S.
Not long after, in November 2010, she was declared the world's oldest living person upon the death of Eugenie Blanchard, a nun from the French West Indies.
Sanborn turned 115 in July 2010 and lived at home with 24-hour care until her death.
She was born July 20, 1895, in Lake Charles, La.
Jacksonville Daily Progress / AFP / Getty Images
Eunice Sanborn, who was recognized as the world's oldest person, died at her home in Jacksonville, Texas. According to official records, she was 114 years old, but she maintained she was really 115.
"The Lord just called her home," French said. "He has been using her as powerful witness for 115 years."
Census records show Sanborn was born on July 20, 1896, in Lake Charles, La., according to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which listed Sanborn as the world's oldest person.
But French said Sanborn always maintained the Census Bureau had made a mistake and she was really born in 1895. She celebrated what she believed was her 115th birthday on July 20, 2010 Agence France-Presse reported.
Sanborn became known as the world's oldest person on Nov. 4, when French nun Eugenie Blanchard died at age 114 on the French Caribbean island of St. Barthelemy, The Associated Press said.
The distinction now goes to 114-year-old Besse Cooper, who was born on Aug. 26, 1896, and lives in Georgia, the Gerontology Research Group said. Walter Breuning, of Montana, also 114, now becomes the world's second-oldest person. He was born Sept. 21, 1896.
Sanborn was married and widowed three times, according to a 2008 profile in the Houston Chronicle. Her third husband died in 1979. She also outlived her only child, a daughter.