Lucile Randon, also known as Sister Andre, was a remarkable French woman who lived an extraordinary life. Born on February 11, 1904, she defied the odds and became a supercentenarian. Sadly, she passed away on January 17, 2023, at the remarkable age of 118 years and 340 days. Her remarkable longevity earned her the title of the world’s oldest verified living person after the passing of Japan’s Kane Tanaka on April 19, 2022.
Sister Andre holds the distinction of being the fourth-oldest verified person in recorded history, a testament to her exceptional longevity. Notably, she also survived the global COVID-19 pandemic, making her the oldest confirmed survivor. Remarkably, she tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 a month before celebrating her 117th birthday.
Throughout her life, Lucile Randon led a life of service and devotion. After converting to Roman Catholicism in her youth, she dedicated herself to various vocations, including working as a governess, teacher, nun, and missionary. Her unwavering commitment to helping others was a shining example of selflessness and compassion.
In her later years, Sister Andre resided in a nursing home in Toulon, France, starting from 2009 until her passing.
French nun Lucile Randon, who had been living for 118 years, passed away
Lucile Randon, the fourth-oldest verified person ever, peacefully passed away in her sleep on the 17th of January, 2023, at the remarkable age of 118 years and 340 days. Her demise occurred at the nursing home in Toulon, France, where she had been residing. This news was confirmed by David Tavella, a spokesperson for the Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home, in an interview with French news media.
Mr. Tavella conveyed that Sister Andre, as she was affectionately known, had fulfilled her wish to be reunited with her beloved brother, and although there was a deep sense of sorrow, there was also a recognition that her passing represented liberation for her. The Catholic nun had previously expressed her own perspective on longevity, stating, “People say that work kills, for me work kept me alive, I kept working until I was 108.”
The news of Sister Andre’s demise resonated beyond the walls of the nursing home, capturing the attention of the world. Following the death of Japanese woman Kane Tanaka, who held the title of the oldest living person, Sister Andre had become the oldest person in the world. Hubert Falco, the mayor of Toulon, expressed his sorrow on Twitter, stating, “Humanity loses its oldest person tonight.”
Recognizing the significance of Sister André’s life, the office of the French president released a statement describing her as a symbol of continuity and resistance, a living memory of the past century. Her long and extraordinary journey came to an end, leaving behind a legacy that will forever remain a source of inspiration and admiration for the French and people around the world.
Lucile Randon was the Oldest Known Surviour of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Lucile Randon witnessed significant historical events including the 1918 flu pandemic and two world wars, and has also triumphed over yet another challenge in her remarkable life. As the oldest known person in Europe, she achieved an incredible feat by defeating the coronavirus with minimal complications, just a few days shy of her 117th birthday. In January 2021, Lucile tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during an outbreak at her retirement home. However, she remained asymptomatic and subsequently tested negative shortly before reaching her remarkable milestone, solidifying her position as the oldest known survivor of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the period of her isolation, which lasted for several weeks, Lucile experienced a sense of being slightly unwell, describing herself as feeling “partake” or off-color. She found herself sleeping more than usual, but her spirits remained high as she prayed and continued to exhibit no symptoms.
When interviewed by local media, Lucile confessed that she had not even realized she had contracted the virus, a testament to her resilience and fortitude. She adhered to strict isolation measures, living separately from other residents within her retirement home located in Toulon, southern France where she made a full recovery and she earned the distinction of becoming the oldest known person to have successfully battled Covid-19.
Lucile Randon grew in a Huguenot Protestant family
Lucile Randon was born into a Huguenot Protestant family, the daughter of Paul Randon and Alphonsine Delphine Yéta Soutoul.
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She had three older brothers and a twin sister named Lydie, who tragically passed away within a year of their birth. Growing up, Lucile’s family had strong religious roots, with her grandfather being a pastor.
An Overview of the Remarkable Career of Lucile Randon
In 1924, at the young age of twenty, Lucile embarked on her career as a governess in Marseille. Her nurturing skills were put to use as she cared for three children, but her journey was just beginning. In 1928, Lucile’s talents were recognized by the esteemed Peugeot family in Versailles, who employed her as a governess and teacher for their children.
Following her time with the Peugeot family, Lucile ventured into new territories, becoming a governess for the Borionne family in Paris and later in Ardeche. At the age of 19, in 1923, Lucile embraced Catholicism, and her faith continued to deepen over the years. In 1944, she answered the calling of her devout heart and joined the Daughters of Charity, a Catholic order, taking the name Sister André as a tribute to her elder brother.
After the conclusion of World War II, Sister Andre’s mission led her to a hospital in Vichy, where her compassion and care found a new purpose in attending to orphans and elderly patients. For an incredible span of 18 years, she tirelessly served at this hospital, offering solace and support to those in need. In 1963, she was transferred to another hospital in La Baume-d’Hostun, Drôme, where she took on the responsibilities of night duty.
Sister Andre’s unwavering dedication continued even in her later years. Although she retired from full-time service in 1979, her commitment to the elderly persisted. She found her place at the EHPAD (Établissement d’hébergement pour personnes âgées dépendantes) in the Marches at Savoie, where she continued her noble mission of caring for the elderly until the remarkable age of 100.