Fernande De Raeve, the oldest Belgian person, died on Wednesday evening at the age of 111 years. This was confirmed by the Ghent city councilor in charge of the Civil Registry, Sofie Bracke, to the Belga News Agency. Ms. De Raeve, who celebrated her 111th birthday on Sunday, died at the retirement home where she lived, her daughter told the Ghent authorities.
“She again celebrated her birthday this weekend and we wanted to visit her, but we received a message from her daughter telling us she was not feeling well,” Alderwoman Bracke said. “We then had to postpone our visit,” she explained, adding: “It’s really sad. I met Ms. De Raeve on many occasions. She was a charming lady. Her sight was poor, but otherwise she was fine. She loved to have a glass of wine and the sun in her face.”
Fernande De Raeve was born on the 3rd of December 1906 and was eight years old when World War I broke out. In 1929, she met her husband Emilius, with whom she went on to have a daughter and a son. They lived in Oostakker, outside Ghent. When her husband went on retirement, the couple went on a camping trip. After Emilius died in 1995, Fernande lived alone for five years before moving into “Het Heiveld” residence at the age of 96.
Following her death, the new oldest person in Belgium is Madeleine Dullier, aged 110. She was born on the 30th of April in Mettet, and resides in the “Au bien-être” Home in Courcelles. Ms. Dullier was designated in May last as Wallonia’s oldest person.