Maria Gomes Valentim, a Brazilian woman listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest person died Tuesday, weeks shy of her 115th birthday. An American woman now holds the title.
According to the Associated Press, Valentim died of multiple organ failure at the nursing home where she lived. Valentim was to celebrate her 115th birthday July 9th. Guinness announced Tuesday via its website that Valentim, “the first Brazilian super-centenarian to hold the title,” died at the age of 114 years, 347 days.
This past May, Guinness determined that Valentim was 48 days older than the person who previously held the title, Besse Cooper from Monroe, Georgia. Upon Valentim’s death the title will revert back to Besse Cooper, age 114 years 299 days. Cooper’s son, Sid Cooper, reported Tuesday that his mother is doing well at the Monroe retirement community.
Guinness verified Valentim was born on July 9, 1896, in the city of Carangola in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. Valentim lived in Carangola her entire life. Just last month Guinness said on its website that Valentim, also known as “Grandma Quita,” accredited her long life-span to a healthy diet. Valentim started her day off with a roll of bread, a cup of coffee, fruit, and at times milk with linseed.
Valentim’s family stated that Maria has a stubborn streak but was known to mind her own business. Her granddaughter Jane Riberio Moraes, 63, told a newspaper in May, “She says she has lived long because she has always taken care of her own life – and not meddled in the lives of others.” The family discussed that longevity runs in the family. In fact, Valentim’s own father lived to be 100.
Valentim’s amazing life lives on in her four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren. Valentim’s only son died in the early 1990’s at the age of 75.
Valentim was buried this past Tuesday at the Carangola cemetery.