World's oldest person dies aged 115

30th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 August 2005, AMSTERDAM — Dutchwoman Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, considered to be the oldest person in the world, died in the early hours of Tuesday morning. She was 115 years and two months old.

30 August 2005

AMSTERDAM — Dutchwoman Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, considered to be the oldest person in the world, died in the early hours of Tuesday morning. She was 115 years and two months old.

"Madam Van Andel-Schipper passed away peacefully," the director of a care home in the north-eastern town of Hoogeveen said on Tuesday.

"She told me that she thought it was very nice to be the oldest person in the world and that she looked back fondly at a very nice life," the director said.

Van Andel-Schipper was born in the small Dutch town of Smilde in 1890 and she celebrated her 115th birthday on 29 June this year.

She held the title of oldest Dutch person ever since 26 September 2003 and was officially recognised as the oldest person in the world since 30 May 2004.

Ironically, Hendrikje (Henny) Schipper was a very premature baby. Her mother is said to have remarked "this child is not going to live" when she was handed her daughter. The child weighed 1,500 grams.

She did survive and met the love of her life, Dick van Andel, at the age of 46 in 1936. Three years later she married him and became Henny Van Andel-Schipper.

She described it as the "best day of my life" in interviews with the media. "Afterwards we paid a ten-cent piece each for a cup of coffee in a cafe and then he went back to the office and I went home".

The couple did not have any children and Dick died in 1959. Henny lived on her own in a flat in Hoogeveen until the age of 106.

"And what did I do to reach this age? I breathe, nothing more.  That isn't such a big deal," she said on the day she was officially recognised as the oldest woman in the world.

She did expand later on her recipe for reaching a ripe old age: "don't smoke and don't drink to much alcohol. Just a small advocaat (egg-nog) with cream Sundays and feast-days. And you must remain active".

Henny's death deprives the Dutch Royal Family and Amsterdam football club Ajax of their biggest fans.

Van Andel-Schipper celebrated the coronation of the late Queen Wilhelmina in 1898 and the coronation of Wilhelmina's granddaughter Beatrix a hundred years later.

A delegation from Ajax called to see Henny on her 114th birthday in recognition of her long support for the team.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news + world's oldest person + Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper

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