|Birth:||8 May 1908|
Rovigno, Austrian Empire (now Rovinj, Croatia)
|Death:||23 June 2020|
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
|Age:||112 years, 46 days|
Margherita "Rita" Buttiri (8 May 1908 – 23 June 2020) was a Croatian-born Canadian supercentenarian whose age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG). She may have been the oldest person in the Canadian province of Alberta at the time of her death.
Buttiri was born in Rovigno, Austrian Empire (present-day Rovinj, Istria, Croatia), as one of nine children born to Italian parents Luigi and Orsola Buttiri. In 1914, when World War I broke out, she and her family fled to a camp near Vienna, Austria, where they stayed for three years. After the war, she returned to Rovinj and had several jobs, including a waitress and a baker, and store worker.
Buttiri never married nor had children. At the start of World War II, she had to leave Rovinj with her family, fleeing to a refugee camp near Naples, Italy. A month after arriving, a refugee organisation arranged for her to go to Canada. She had to leave her family behind, except for her niece, Angela, who accompanied her to Canada.
In January 1942, Buttiri and her niece arrived in Canada, and they were taken in by different families. Buttiri stayed with her host family for nine months, getting a job sewing for textile companies. She continued sewing for various companies for over three decades.
Buttiri’s hobbies included attending church functions in the community, playing Tile Rummy with friends, and knitting garments for infants in various hospitals and charity organisations.
Buttiri died in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on 23 June 2020 at the age of 112 years, 46 days. At the time of her death, she may have been the fourth-oldest known person in Canada after Phyllis Ridgway, Cecile Klein, and Reita Fennell.
- ‘I smoke, I drink, I dance. What can I say is my secret?’ MacLean’s, 29 June 2014
- Margherita "Rita" Buttiri Necro Canada, 26 June 2020
- Margherita Buttiri (Rita) Edmonton Journal