Fernande De Raeve, the oldest living person in Belgium, became 111 years old on Sunday. However, she was not able to celebrate her birthday fully, due to illness. Fernande, who was eight years old when World War I broke out, met Emilius, her future husband, in 1929. The couple went on to have a son and a daughter and resided in Oostakker. After her husband retired, Fernande accompanied him on many trips. Following his death in 1995, Fernande lived alone for five years before moving in with her daughter and son-in-law.
At the age of 96, she went to live in Het Heiveld nursing home, in Ghent, where she still resides.
Her eyesight has greatly diminished but, according to staff at the home, she enjoys “a walk, a ray of sun and a good glass of wine”.