Marie-Virginie Duhem on 21 January 1977, aged 110.
|Birth:||2 August 1866|
Seclin, Nord, Hauts-de-France, France
|Death:||25 April 1978|
Wattignies, Nord, Hauts-de-France, France
|Age:||111 years, 266 days|
Virginie Marie "Marie-Virginie" Duhem (née Mollet; 2 August 1866 – 25 April 1978) was a validated French supercentenarian and at the time of her death the world's oldest living person.
Marie-Virginie Duhem was born Mollet on 2 August 1866 in Seclin, Nord, Hauts-de-France, France, the daughter of Charles Mollet (1827-1899) and Virginie Serrurier (1826-1907). She can remember 1870's war: "I was very young, but I can remember well that at school, we made some lint for soldiers." She sometimes visited Paris in her youth.
In 1885, Duhem met Jules Verne (a famous French science-fiction writer) in Lille's station. "It's my younger brother Victor who shew me Jules Verne sat on a bench while reading newspapers. We came next him and I began the conversation. Really, he was charming." She tells about the Belle Epoque: "It was beautiful because it was simple... Nothing was as difficult as today."
She married Hippolyte Duhem (1862-1939) on 24 June 1893 in Seclin; he was a chemical engineer. They had eight children, who had fifteen grandchildren. One of her daughters, Agnes Costemend [French: Agnès], lived to age 105, born on 1 December 1907 and deceased on 4 June 2013.
In 1972, aged 106, Duhem fell in the stairs, and was hospitalised during three weeks, but managed to recover.
On 21 January 1977, aged 110, Duhem received the Légion d'Honneur's cross from Maurice Schumann. At this time, it as reported she was almost blind, so she listens the radio rather than watching television. She had also more than 500 descendants. When asked if she prefered the Belle Epoque or this time, she replied: "There's a bit more liberty for children... Finally, it's good." When asked for the secret of her longevity, she was surpised, because she thinks there isn't any secret. She died on 25 April 1978, in Wattignies, Nord, Hauts-de-France, France.
Duhem became France's oldest person in 1975, with the death of 109-year-old Marie-Ernestine Compain, and the following year she surpassed Compain's age of 109 years, 316 days to become the oldest Frenchwoman ever. On 2 August 1976, she became the first French supercentenarian. On 2 December 1977, with the death of Sophia DeMuth, she became the world's oldest person. She died on 25 April 1978, aged 111 years, 266 days. Her French age record was surpassed by Augustine Tessier in 1980. Fannie Thomas succeeded her as the world's oldest person.
- Décorée à 110 ans près de Lille Le Parisien Libéré, 24 January 1977
- La Légion d'honneur à cent dix ans Le Monde, 24 January 1977
- Marie Virginie Mollet Geneanet
- Agnès Duhem est la nouvelle doyenne de la ville La Voix du Nord, 8 December 2012
- Avis de décès, À la mémoire de Mme Alfred COSTEMEND Mémoire - La Voix du Nord, 5 June 2013
- Centième anniversaire de Marie-Virginie Duhem-Mollet (2 August 1966) Youtube, 15 November 2020
|France's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (V • T • E)|
Desiree Delory • Ferdinise Nebolle • Unknown • Georgette Jeanmaire • Unknown • Laurence Entiope • Marie-Ernestine Compain • Marie-Virginie Duhem • Frederique Noel • Augustine Tessier • Elisa Esnault • Eugenie Roux • Jeanne Calment • Marie-Helene Chanteperdrix • Jeanne Dumaine • Marie Bremont • Germaine Haye • Anne Primout • Camille Loiseau • Marie-Simone Capony • Clementine Solignac • Eugenie Blanchard • Maria Diaz • Marcelle Narbonne • Marie-Therese Bardet • Paule Bronzini • Irenise Moulonguet • Suzanne Burrier • Marie Liguinen • Olympe Amaury • Eudoxie Baboul • Elisabeth Collot • Honorine Rondello • Lucile Randon