08 January 2008

RIP: Mary Marques

Mary Marques
11 Feb 1896 - 3 Jan 2008

ZUI this article from the Boston Globe:
The memories Mary Marques related to her family were as sharp as they were long. At 5, she dozed while tending goats in the hills of Portugal and, after being spanked, was told to find the lost animals. More than a century later, she remembered dancing a careful waltz for her 105th birthday.

Marques, 111 - and Massachusetts' oldest-known verified resident - died in her sleep Thursday in the Julian J. Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home in Longmeadow. She was believed to be the world's 22d-oldest person, according to the Gerontology Research Group, which validates birthdates of those over 110, who are known as supercentenarians.


Born Feb. 11, 1896, Marques, whose maiden name was Nunes, married Albano Marques in Portugal. There she gave birth to two daughters - Mary Alice Cullers, who died in 1997 - and Mary Rosa, who is 92 and living in a Holyoke nursing home. She followed her husband to the United States in 1936.

After arriving in New Jersey, she soon moved to Holyoke, which had a large Portuguese community at the time. Marques got a job as a seamstress in a hat shop with her eldest daughter, Mary Rosa. The two earned a combined wage of $2 a week and set aside a portion to send Mary Alice to Mount Holyoke College.


In addition to her daughter, [granddaughter Rosemary] Suprenant, and [grandson Robert] Denehy, Marques leaves three other grandchildren, more than a dozen great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren, according to Denehy.

Mrs Marques is the fourth validated supercentenarian to die since Leila Backman Shull (16 Oct 1894-22 Dec 2007); the others were Teresa Ruberto D'Anna of Italy (3 Nov 1896-26 Dec 2007), Marie-Louise L'Huillier of New Caledonia (26 Jun 1895-28 Dec 2007) and Bertha Lilly of Michigan (9 Sep 1896-30 Dec 2007). The GRG list now includes 71 people - 62 women and 9 men - ranging from Edna Parker of Indiana (born 20 Apr 1893) to Carolina Peretti-Scaramelli of Italy (born 21 Oct 1897).

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