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Posted on Saturday, November 29 - 2008

A great-great-grandmother who was the world"s oldest person has died at the age of 115. Indiana woman Edna Parker, who assumed the mantle more than a year ago, passed away on Wednesday at a nursing home in Shelbyville. She was 115 years, 220 days old. Mrs Parker was born April 20, 1893, in central Indiana and had been recognised by Guinness as the world"s oldest person since the 2007 death of Japan"s Yone Minagawa, who was four months her senior. Dr Stephen Coles, the UCLA gerontologist who maintains a list of the world"s oldest people, said Mrs Parker was the 14th oldest validated super-centenarian in history. Maria de Jesusof Portugal, who was born September 10, 1893, is now the world"s oldest living person, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

Mrs Parker became a widow in 1939 - the year Judy Garland starred in The Wizard of Oz - when her husband, Earl Parker, died of a heart attack. She was 48. She remained alone in their farmhouse until age 100, when she moved into a son"s home and later to the Shelbyville nursing home. Though she never drank alcohol or smoked and led an active lifestyle, she didn"t credit this for her advanced years. A teacher, her only advice to those who gathered to celebrate when she became the world"s oldest person was to get "more education." Mrs Parker outlived both her sons, Clifford and Earl Jr. She also had five grandchildren,13 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren. Don Parker, 60, said his grandmother had a small frame and a mild temperament. She walked a lot and kept busy even after moving into the nursing home, he said. "She kept active," he said yesterday. "We used to go up there, and she would be pushing other patients in their wheelchairs." Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who celebrated with Mrs Parker on her 114th birthday, said it had been a "delight" to know her.

View: Full Article | Source: Times Online

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