Doña Leandra Becerra Lumbreras, quite possibly the world’s oldest woman at 127, died yesterday at her home in Zapopan, Jalisco.
Doña Leandra made international news last August when she celebrated her birthday. Though deaf, age had not affected her ability to converse and she still had some mobility. She told a reporter at the time that she was looking forward to blowing out the candles on a tasty cake.
Her long life was attributed to a healthy appetite and lots of sleep. She enjoyed singing to her grandchildren and flirting with young men who came to visit. She never married — and attributed that, too, to her long life — but had five children, all of whom died before her. The last passed away two years ago at the age of 90.
She also enjoyed eating chocolate, which was allowed, and tortillas and beans, which were not.
Born in 1887 in Tamaulipas in the 50th year of the reign of Britain’s Queen Victoria, Doña Leandra was 23 when the Mexican Revolution began and is believed to have been one of the Adelitas, women who joined the revolutionary soldiers in the fight against Porfirio Díaz in 1910.
She supported her family with her work as a seamstress, and was sewing and weaving until just a few years ago, said a great-granddaughter last year.
Doña Leandra moved to Zapopan, 41 years ago to live with her daughter.
Her door was always open to visitors and she was known for her hospitality. That hospitality lived on last night and the door remained open when friends and family gathered to pay their respects.
She leaves 153 descendants.
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