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Gerontology Wiki
Gretchen Dettman
Gretchen Dettman
Birth: 14 January 1890
Garnavillo, Iowa, USA
Death: 30 September 2001
Clayton, Iowa, USA
Age: 111 years, 259 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Gretchen Mahala Dettman (née Limbach; 14 January 1890 – 30 September 2001) was an American supercentenarian whose age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).


Dettman was born as Gretchen Mahala Limbach in Garnavillo, Iowa, United States, on 14 January 1890. She was the second of five children born to Henry and Amelia (née Tangeman) Limbach. However, her elder sister Viola died in 1888 aged three, meaning Gretchen was the eldest surviving child from her birth.

On 9 November 1916, aged 26, she married Elmer Henry Dettman, and their son, Harold Charles Henry Dettman, was born on 17 July 1918. Dettman’s brother Joseph died in 1926, followed by her father and mother in 1932 and 1940 respectively. She was widowed when her husband died on 16 December 1951 after 35 years of marriage. Her son Harold passed away in 1981 aged 63, and her two remaining siblings, Charlotte and Edna, died in 1987 and 1990.

Dettman’s sister-in-law was validated supercentenarian Amelia Schmidt (1875-1986), who was a sister of her husband. Together, they have a combined age of over 222 years.

Dettman died in Clayton, Iowa, United States, on 30 September 2001 at the age of 111 years, 259 days. Her age claim was validated by Filipe Prista Lucas and Robert Young and officially validated by the GRG on 12 May 2006.