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Gerontology Wiki
Emma Lucas
Emma Lucas
Birth: 16 November 1909
Minnesota, USA
Death: 19 December 2019
Iowa, USA
Age: 110 years, 33 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Emma Lucas (née Schettler; 16 November 1909 – 19 December 2019) was an American supercentenarian whose age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).


Lucas was born in Minnesota, United States, on 16 November 1909. Her parents were Frank Schettler and Mary Schreurs. She had 10 siblings: Clara George, Margaret De Smet, Loretta Roemen, Bertha Kramer, Imelda Anderson, Darlene Schettler, Leo, Francis, Martin and Alvin (1923–2019). Her family moved to Larchwood when she was baby. She attended the newly opened St. Mary’s school through the 10th grade. Lucas helped her father with many things on the farm while she was growing up included picking corn, milking cows and plowing with a sulky plow.

On 15 January 1929, she married Ted DeSmet at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and they lived in rural Larchwood. The couple had 7 children. She played the organ for St. Mary’s Church while cooking for St. Mary’s School, where her children attended. During their marriage they farmed west and south of Larchwood, however in 1940 Ted developed ulcers and they moved to Valley Springs where Ted ran a portable feed mill. In 1943 they moved back to Larchwood where Ted continued to run the portable feed mill. In 1953, Emma was asked to start the hot lunch program at St. Mary’s and continued to run the program until the grade school closed permanently in 1974. Emma went from cooking for the school lunch program to cooking for dinner date (senior lunch program). Her husband died on 10 August 1972. On 7 March 1983, she married Lawrence (Luke) Lucas. He died in 1985. Her oldest son, Alvin, died in 1979.

Lucas lived at her home until she was 100 years old, mowed grass until she was 95, played the organ at church until she was 98 and bowled until she was 92. At the age of 106, she still used to play piano. In addition to playing the organ 40 years, she also bowled 40 years. In April 2016, Lucas had 6 living children, 38 grandchildren, 89 great-grandchildren and 47 great-great-grandchildren. She celebrated her 110th birthday in November 2019. Coincidentally, her younger brother, Alvin, died on the same day. At that time, she lived in Fellowship Village, Inwood.

Members of her family had also experienced longevity: her father lived to be 94, her sister Margaret DeSmet lived to be 103, her sister Bertha Theresa Kramer lived to be 99, her brother Alvin Schettler lived to be 96.

Lucas died in Inwood, Iowa, United States, on 19 December 2019, at the age of 110 years, 33 days. At the time of her death, she had 37 grandchildren, 89 great-grandchildren and 73 great-great-grandchildren. She is survived by her sons Clete, Don and Dean, her daughters Veronica Weins and Jane Heirigs, and sister Clara George.