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Edith Rose Ceccarelli (USA, 1908-2024)

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I have made an extensive gallery/biography as a tribute to my favourite supercentenarian (photos sourced from Gerontology wiki)


Once upon a time, two Italian immigrants by the names of Agostino Recagno and Maria Petronavi came to the United States, and started a family in the small northern Californian town of Willits; their first daughter, Edith Rose AKA "Edie", was born on 5 February 1908

Edie, aged 5, with siblings Frank (1910-1994) and Annette (1909-1996)

With her high school band

Edie's graduation photo

She attended Willits Union High School, where she played sports and a saxophone her mother bought for her. Here she met her future husband, Elmer "Brick" Keenan

After graduating, she attended a business college in Eureka and worked in Humboldt County for a couple years, before returning to Willits and marrying her high school sweetheart in 1933.

At the age of 24

At the age of 36

They then moved to the larger city of Santa Rosa where they adopted their only daughter, Laureen Anne. Her husband worked as a pressman. They moved back to Willits in 1971

Keenan died in 1984, after 50 years of marriage. Edie married Charles Ceccarelli in 1986

Edie and Charles on their wedding day

At the age of 92

Sadly, her second marriage lasted only four years. But Edie found a new friend in Ed Burton, who remained her dancing partner until his death in 2012

In 2005, dancing with Burton

Speaking at one of Willits' elder talks in 2006

Edie achieved centenarian status in 2008, and planned and hosted her own party

On her 100th birthday

With her age in the triple digits, Edie continued to be an active member in her community and a local celebrity, living on her own until the age of 107

On her 107th birthday

On her 108th birthday

On her 109th birthday

In February 2018, Edie became the first supercentenarian in her town's history. Despite a recent hip surgery after a fall, she could still walk and celebrated the momentous occasion with a smile on her face and 110 candles on her cake

On her 110th birthday

At the age of 110

On her 111th birthday

On her 112th birthday

The rise of COVID-19 meant that Edie's 113th birthday could not be celebrated with the usual party, so her community decided to organize a parade, a tradition that would continue for the next three years

On her 113th birthday

As she climbed closer to the top of the supercentenarian rankings, the effects of old age and dementia began to take its toll on her, but even with the memory and mobility issues that developed, she still retained her personality

On her 114th birthday

In July 2022, she finally became the oldest person in the state of California

At the age of 114

Only a few days into 2023, Edie gained the title of the most senior individual in the United States

The new oldest American, almost 115

Two weeks later, she became the third-oldest person in the world, and another two weeks after that, she celebrated what would be her second-to-last birthday

On her 115th birthday

Despite her ever-advancing dementia, Edie enjoyed an outdoor barbecue to celebrate Independence Day

In July 2023, aged 115

Later that year, she was visited by the Gerontology Research Group's Robert Young and Natalie Coles

In October 2023, aged 115

Edie's condition sadly began to further deteriorate towards the end of 2023; at times she lost her appetite and it was not certain she would make it to her next birthday. But with the odds against her, she pulled through

A week before turning 116

Edie enjoys a carrot cake for her 116th birthday

Celebrating her "Sweet Sixteen"

Edie waves to the parade celebrating her 116th birthday

This birthday gathered more media attention than ever before, and people began to root for her to complete another trip around the sun. But those close to her knew she would not be around much longer

A couple weeks later, her loved ones were at their bedsides saying their goodbyes; “We were just there, saying ‘we love you’ and kissing her forehead, and I think that’s what she needed: the blessings and all the love and knew it was finally OK to go.”

In the early afternoon on the 22nd of February, she slipped into deep sleep and passed away without pain or discomfort, in her bed at the Holy Spirit Care Home in the afternoon on a most beautiful sunny day.

A card memorializing Edie

The following month, she was buried in Willits Cemetery next to her family members, and a celebration of life for her occurred on the 16th of March, where she was described as a “truly a one-of-a-kind person who enjoyed life to its fullest."

diego, 024Tomi, Ale76 and 2 people reacted
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1130

That is an excellent photo compilation and narrative MrCatlord.

Thank you and really well done.

diego, MrCatlord and Ale76 reacted