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Europe’s oldest woman dies in her sleep in Barcelona 


Europe’s oldest woman and the world’s longest surviving person in the world Ana Vela Rubio has died in Barcelona at the age of 116.

The former seamstress and mother of four passed away in the nursing home where she had lived since she turned 103 .

She was born in Puente Genil, Córdoba and used to run a grocery store in Malaga. She brought up her four children alone.

Ana had only celebrated her 116th birthday on October 29th.

“She has died quietly whilst sleeping in her bed, without suffering,” said a spokesman for the nursing home, La Verneda.

Her 90-year-old daughter, also called Ana Vela, lives in the same home and said she was thrilled to have spend time with her mother and enjoyed this last milestone birthday together. Longevity runs in the family as she even had a grandson aged 65.

Ana was the third longest surviving person in the world only behind two Japanese women, Nabi Tajima, 117, who ranks first as the oldest person in the world and Chiyo Miyako, also Japanese aged 116.

She became the oldest woman in Europe after the death of the Italian Emma Morano, who at 117 was considered the oldest person in the world.

She had previously declared that kindness and happiness were her secrets to living to an old age.

Ana’s family said she loved to have a small glass of sweet wine with her meals and used to enjoy music and reading a newspaper every day before developing dementia and breaking her leg.

She was described as a very strong woman who lived through the death of three of her four children but still enjoyed life despite being confined to a wheelchair. She would always get up at 10am, “looked younger than her years” and never suffered from an illness, even a cold.