Edna Parker, the world’s oldest person dies at 115

Edna Parker, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person alive, passed away Wedenesday at a nursing home in Shelbyville, Indiana. She was 115.

Parker was formally designated the oldest living person in 2007 when Yone Minagawa of Japan died. Minagawa was four months older than Parker.

“Ms Edna Parker of Indiana, the world’s oldest person for a number of years, passed away today (Wednesday) at the age of 115 years, 220 days,” Stephen Coles, a gerontologist at the University of California in Los Angeles, said on the website of the Gerontology Research Group.

Although she ate well enough on Tuesday, she was unresponsive later in the afternoon, and the family was called upon to be at her side. She was alert for a short time again on Tuesday evening before falling asleep.

Parker taught in a school in Shelby County for quite a few years after graduating from Franklin College in 1911. She wed her childhood sweetheart and neighbor in 1913.

But as was the tradition of that era, her teaching career ended with her marriage. Parker traded the schoolhouse for life as a farmer’s wife, preparing meals for as many as a dozen men who worked on her husband’s farm.

Parker and her husband, who died of a heart attack when she was 48, had two sons. She lived alone in their farmhouse until age 100, when she moved into a son’s home and later to the Shelbyville nursing home. She also had five grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

Coles maintains list of the world’s oldest people. He says Parker was the 14th oldest validated supercentenarian in history.

Photo: AP