Delina Filkins at the age of 109.
|Birth:||4 May 1815|
Stark, New York, USA
|Death:||4 December 1928|
|Age:||113 years, 214 days|
Delina Filkins (née Ecker; 4 May 1815 – 4 December 1928) was an American supercentenarian who was the oldest validated person ever at the time of her death.
Filkins was born in a farmhouse in Stark, Herkimer County, New York on 4 May 1815. Her father was William Ecker. Both parents were of Dutch ancestry. Longevity was prevalent in her family, with her father living to be 97 and her mother to 78.
In 1826, Filkins quit school to work at home. In 1834, she married John Filkins, with whom she had six children. They ran a cheese-making business. John died in 1890.
On Filkins' 101st birthday, her eyesight and hearing were good. When she was 107 years old, she underwent an operation. On her 111th birthday, it was revealed that Filkins woke up every morning around 5:30 am, made her own bed, did other household chores, and read books. It was also mentioned that she used glasses to read,and that her hearing was worse than before. She claimed she didn’t have any secrets to her longevity.
Towards the very end of her life, Filkins' health declined and she initially refused to become bedridden. She eventually was convinced to lie down. Filkins died on 4 December 1928, at the age of 113 years, 214 days.
Filkins was the oldest living person in the world, as well as the oldest person to have ever lived, at the time of her death. She was the fifth validated supercentenarian in history, the second validated person to reach the age of 111, and the first validated person to reach the ages of 112 and 113.
Filkins became the oldest validated person ever when she tied the age of Louisa Thiers on 19 September 1926, and held the title until her own age was surpassed by Fannie Thomas on 15 November 1980. Her record stood for over 54 years.
- Gerontology Research Group
- Syracuse Herald, May 4, 1916
- The Evening Independent, May 4, 1926
- Syracuse Herald, May 4, 1928
- 1928 obituary