World's oldest woman from Ecuador dies at age 116
Written by Hispanicsurf.com
August 28, 2006 -- The
world`s oldest woman, an Ecuadorian woman about two weeks from her 117th
birthday, died over the weekend at the age of 116.
Maria Esther de
Capovilla died in a hospital Sunday after contracting pneumonia, Ecuadorian
TV reported Monday. Capovilla was born Sept. 14, 1889.
Capovilla was confirmed as the oldest living person on Dec. 9, 2005, after
her family sent details of her birth and marriage certificates to the
British-based publisher. Emiliano Mercado Del Toro of Puerto Rico retains the
title as oldest man. He turned 115 last Monday.
Three of Capovilla's five children - Irma, Hilda, and son Anibal - are still
alive, along with 12 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and two great-great
grandchildren, Catherine Capovilla told The Associated Press in a telephone
Capovilla was from a well-to-do family that traced its lineage to Spanish
nobility, and her father was a colonel in Ecuador's army.
When she was young, she liked to embroider, paint, play piano and dance the
waltz at parties, the family said. She was married to Antonio Capovilla, an
Austrian sailor who came to Ecuador in 1910.
She always ate three meals a day and never smoked or drank hard liquor. "Only
a small cup of wine with lunch and nothing more," said daughter Irma during an
For the past 20 years, Capovilla had lived with elder daughter Hilda. Her
calm disposition may have been the secret to her longevity.
An American woman, Elizabeth Bolden of Memphis, Tenn., is now the oldest
known person alive, according to Guinness World Records. She is also 116 - but
11 months younger than Capovilla.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest person ever was
Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who lived to be 122 years and 164 days. She was
born in 1875 and died in 1997.