Edna Parker holds a rose that she was given during a birthday party in April.AP FILE PHOTO
SHELBYVILLE, Ind. — Edna Parker, who became the world’s oldest person more than a year ago, has died at age 115.
UCLA gerontologist Dr. Stephen Coles said Parker’s great-nephew notified him that Parker died Wednesday at a nursing home in Shelbyville. She was 115 years, 220 days old, said Robert Young, a senior consultant for gerontology for Guinness World Records.
Parker was born April 20, 1893, in central Indiana’s Morgan County and had been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest person since the 2007 death in Japan of Yone Minagawa, who was four months her senior.
Coles maintains a list of the world’s oldest people and said Parker was the 14th oldest validated supercentenarian in history. Maria de Jesus of Portugal, who was born Sept. 10, 1893, is now the world’s oldest living person, according to the Gerontology Research Group.
Parker had been a widow since her husband, Earl Parker, died in 1939 of a heart attack. She lived alone in their farmhouse until age 100, when she moved into a son’s home and later to the Shelbyville nursing home.
Although she never drank alcohol or tried tobacco and led an active life, Parker didn’t offer tips for living a long life. Her only advice to those who gathered to celebrate when she became the oldest person was “more education.”