Violet Moss-Brown held the title of world’s oldest person for only five months before dying at age 117.
Brown was born on March 10, 1900. She was the last living subject of Queen Victoria, due to Jamaica’s status as a British Commonwealth country. She was quite a celebrity in her hometown of Trelawny, in northwest Jamaica. She even received visits from Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the Daily News reported.
She credits her long life to good diet and a belief in God.
“Really and truly, when people ask what me [sic] eat and drink to live so long, I say to them that I eat everything, except pork and chicken, and I don’t drink rum and them things,” said Brown to the local paper The Gleaner, in an interview before her death.
Brown was living in the same house she was born in. But her last moments were fraught with family dispute. A family member secretly took her from her home and placed her in a hospital outside of her community. She died three days later.
One of her sons, Barry Russell, who lives in Miami, instructed a relative in Jamaica to take Brown to the hospital. She was taken there without the knowledge of the grandchildren and other family members she resided with in Trelawny.
“I made the decision to move my mother because her greedy grandchildren were not taking good care of her,” said Russell to The Gleaner. “She was taken to the medical facility on Saturday because she was not feeling well, was dehydrated, and had an irregular heartbeat.”
But family and community members did not like the idea of Brown being moved from the community and family she was familiar with.
“We are concerned because we don’t believe she is happy,” said Justice of the Peace Joy Leach. “Aunt V is accustomed to having regular visits from the pastor and members of her Baptist church. She is now with strangers who she knows nothing about.”
“She was in good spirits before she was taken away to see the doctor, she did not appear sick because she was able to sit up and have her hair combed,” said Lelieth Palmer, Brown’s granddaughter. “Her death has come as a big shock to us.”
The previous world’s oldest person, a woman from Italy named Emma Morano, died earlier this year, also at 117 years of age. Morano was born in 1899 and holds the achievement of living in the 1800s, 1900s, and 2000s—three different centuries.
Brown’s son, Harold Fairweather, died earlier this year at the age of 97, soon after Brown was crowned world’s oldest person by Guinness World Records. Before his death, Fairweather held the record for being the oldest person to have a living parent.