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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 22:22 GMT
World's oldest woman dies at 115
The world's oldest woman has died at the age of 115 in a Montreal retirement home, Canadian media have reported.

Julie Winnefred Bertrand was born 16 September 1891 in the Quebec mill town of Coaticook near the US border.

She was officially proclaimed the world's oldest woman, and the second oldest person, after the death of American Elizabeth Bolden in December.

She passed away quietly in her sleep in the retirement home where she had lived for the last 35 years, her nephew said.

"She just stopped breathing," Andre Bertrand, Ms Bertrand's 73-year-old nephew, told the Montreal Gazette.

"That's a nice way to go."

'Tough and feisty'

Ms Bertrand was the eldest of six children of harness-maker Napoleon Bertrand and his wife Julia Mullins.

She never married but she had suitors, said her niece Elaine Sauciere.

There is speculation she may have been close to Louis St Laurent, a young lawyer from a nearby town who later became prime minister.

She worked for much of her life as a clothes buyer and saleswoman for a department store in Coaticook.

She was inundated with requests for interviews when the Guinness World Records proclaimed her the world's oldest woman in December, but never hesitated in turning them down, her nephew said.

"She was tough, feisty and self-sufficient," Mr Bertrand described his aunt to the Montreal Gazette.

Emiliano Mercado del Toro of Puerto Rico remains the world's oldest person, born 26 days earlier than Ms Bertrand.

World's oldest person dies at 116
12 Dec 06 |  Americas
World's oldest woman dies at 116
28 Aug 06 |  Americas

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