On the eleventh of February in 1904, Lucile Randon came into this world. After years as a hardworking teacher, she decided to take her vows and was given the name Sister André when she entered nunhood in 1944. For the past dozen years or so, Sister Andre has resided at a nursing home where she remains today.
After the unfortunate passing of Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who lived to be 119 years old, Randon became the oldest living individual on earth. When asked what her secret was for such an extended lifespan, she explained that work kept her going until 108: “People say that work kills, for me work kept me alive, I kept working until I was 108.”
On Tuesday, the 17th of January 2023, Randon peacefully passed away in her sleep at 2 am while residing at Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home – reaching an impressive age of 118. According to David Tavella, spokesperson for the facility, she was surrounded by loved ones until her final moments. Although her death was heartbreaking, he explained that “It was her desire to join her beloved brother. For her, it’s a liberation.”
Throughout her extraordinary life, Randon was able to experience two pandemics and witness many alterations in the world. The Editor-in-Chief of Guinness World Records, Craig Glenday, noted several incredible facts about her saga. He wrote, “How incredible that we shared the same air as someone who was born just a couple of months after the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight – and a few months before the New York subway system opened. We’d only had two Olympics Games by the time she was born in 1904, and only one Tour de France. Teddy Roosevelt was US President and Alfred Balfour was British Prime Minister! In her birth home of France, Cezanne was still painting, Matisse hadn’t yet had a solo exhibition, and Jean-Paul Sartre hadn’t even been born! It’s difficult to fathom that someone born before the patenting of plastic, zips or even bras was alive well into the 21st century, and robust enough to beat COVID-19.”
Maria Branyas Morera, the 115-year-old American-born woman from California who currently resides in Spain, is now the oldest living person following Randon’s passing. Born in 1907, she has exceeded far beyond what was expected of her lifespan and continues to live each day with an inspiring vigor for life.
In her final interview, Randon gifted us with meaningful advice beyond what she cherishes (chocolate and wine). Her message was one that should resonate with all of us.“People should help each other and love each other instead of hating. If we shared all that, things would be a lot better.”