Russia's oldest woman aged 117 dies

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Moscow, Mar 12: Russian centenarian woman Varvara Semennikova, who claimed to be world's oldest living person, has died at the age of 117. Semennikova died in northwest Yakutia on Sunday, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported yesterday. She was born in 1890 and would have marked her 118th birthday this May.

Semennikova had claimed to be the world's oldest person since August 2007. However, her age was not verified by the Guinness World Record. She was an Evenk woman, one of indigenous peoples of Russia's North, who was born into a nomadic family and spent her youth hunting and deer farming. Her dinner would consist of boiled meat, sour cream tea with milk, jam, bread and butter, lasting for two or three hours. Even in her last days, Semennikova maintained her remarkable memory, although she lost her hearing and eyesight. She was married twice and her first husband was 27 years junior to her. She outlived all her children and adopted three more. She is survived by more than a dozen grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Last December the oldest living person on record, Grigoriy Nestor, from Ukraine, died at the age of 116. According to church documents and his passport, Nestor was born on March 15, 1891.

According to the Guinness World Records, the world's oldest living person is 115-year-old Emiliano Mercado del Toro of Puerto Rico who assumed this title after Elizabeth Bolden, an African American woman, died at the age of 116 years and 118 days in 2006.


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