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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 December 2007, 23:01 GMT
'Oldest human being' dies at 116
Hryhoriy Nestor
Hryhoriy put his long life down to the fact he never married

Hryhoriy Nestor, a bachelor who was thought in his lifetime to be the oldest person in the world, has died at the age of 116 in Ukraine.

Mr Nestor died in his sleep on Friday night in the village of Stary Yarychev, in the western region of Lviv, the Kiev newspaper Segodnya reports.

He died before proof of his age was submitted to Guinness World Records.

The world's recognised oldest living person is currently Edna Parker of the United States, who turned 114 in April.

He didn't find himself a mate because he was a short man and never had money
Oksana
Relative of Hryhoriy Nestor

Just a few close relatives and neighbours gathered for Mr Nestor's funeral, Segodnya writes.

In accordance with his wish that there should be no crying, a hearty meal was served of his favourite dishes: warm potato and herring, and cabbage with home-made sausage.

Active life

Oksana, one of the relations with whom he lived, said he had led an active life to the last, helping around the house, whether it was making dumplings or tending the chickens.

WHEN HRYHORIY NESTOR WAS BORN...
Average life expectancy in Europe was less than 50
Adolf Hitler was not even two years old
Lviv was known as Lemberg and under Austrian rule
Sarah Bernhardt and Tchaikovksy were both preparing to tour the USA

He was no different on Friday, though he doused his head with cold water that evening - something he had often done before, complaining of headaches.

"His death came as a surprise to us, he just didn't wake up again," Oksana said.

"After his master's death, his favourite cat Murchik didn't go into his corner like he usually did but lay down on his bed," she added.

Born, according to family documents, on 15 March 1891, Mr Nestor, a former farm labourer, put his long life down to the fact that he never married.

"He didn't find himself a mate because he was a short man and never had money," Oksana believes.

He also led a healthy life, she says.

He loved to get outside and would run barefoot through the grass. Vodka he drank in moderation, and his favourite food was simple country fare with his greatest luxury a slice of sausage in a bread roll.

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