World’s Oldest Person, Nun André (Lucile Randon), Passes Away at 118

Sister André, also known as Lucile Randon, was a French supercentenarian. Her French name was Soeur André. She was the oldest verified alive person in the world as of April 19, 2022, when Kane Tanaka passed away at the age of 118 years and 340 days. A month before her 117th birthday, she tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, making her the oldest known survivor of the COVID-19 epidemic.

After converting to Roman Catholicism as a young adult, Randon spent her career as a nanny, teacher, and missionary before retiring at the age of 75. Between 2009 and 2023, she lived in a care home in Toulon, France.

French nun Lucile Randon, who had been living for 118 years, passed away

French nun Lucile Randon, the world’s oldest person, passed away at the age of 118.

At the nursing home where she resided, Randon passed away on Tuesday while sleeping. When she became a nun in 1944, she adopted the name, Sister Andre.

“There is great sadness but … it was her desire to join her beloved brother. For her, it’s a liberation,” spokesperson David Tavella, of the Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home in the southern French town of Toulon, told the AFP news agency.

She was previously known as the oldest person in Europe, but after Japan’s Kane Tanaka passed away at 119 years old last year, she surpassed him as the oldest person alive. In April 2022, Guinness World Records formally affirmed her status.

World War I was still ten years away when Randon was born, and New York had just opened its first subway.

Living in the southern French town of Ales, she grew up in a Protestant family as the lone female among three brothers.

She told AFP in an interview on her 116th birthday that the return of two of her brothers at the end of the war in 1918 was one of her favorite recollections.

“It was rare, in families, there were usually two dead rather than two alive. They both came back,” she said.

Early Years of Sister André (Lucile Randon) with her parents

Lucile Randon, also known as Sister André, was born on February 11th, 1904 in Alès, France to Paul Randon and Alphonsine Delphine Yéta Soutoul.

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Growing up in a Protestant family as the lone female among three older brothers, Randon spent her early years working as a governess for affluent families in Marseille and Versailles.

How she became Lucile Randon’s to Sister André?

In 1923, at the age of 19, Randon converted to Catholicism and underwent baptism. She later adopted the name Sister André in honor of her older brother. In 1944, at the age of 41, Randon joined the Daughters of Charity order of nuns, seeking to “go deeper” in her faith.

Lucile Randon Childhood photo

Randon’s first assignment as a nun was at a hospital in Vichy, France, where she served for 31 years, caring for orphans and the elderly. In 1963, she was transferred to another hospital in La Baume-d’Hostun, Drôme, where she worked on the night shift for 18 years. In 1979, Randon retired from full-time work, but continued to care for the elderly at an EHPAD in the Marches de Savoie until she was 100 years old.

Throughout her life, Randon’s dedication and selflessness were an inspiration to those around her. Her remarkable age of 118 years old at the time of her passing, certified her as the oldest person in the world and the oldest known survivor of the COVID-19 epidemic.

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