Carmen Rodríguez Moreno celebrating her 107th birthday with her daughter María del Carmen and son-in-law, Pepe
Axarquía town’s oldest woman dies at 107

Axarquía town’s oldest woman dies at 107

Carmen Rodríguez Moreno was born on 9 February 1917 and passed away on Thursday 15 February, just days after celebrating her birthday surrounded by her two daughters, six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren

Eugenio Cabezas

Tuesday, 20 February 2024, 23:55


Carmen Rodríguez Moreno, the oldest resident of the town of Periana in the Axarquía on the eastern side of Malaga province, died on Thursday 15 February, just six days after celebrating her 107th birthday.

Carmen was born during the First World War, on 9 February 1917, in Los Baños de Vilo in Periana. She had two daughters, María del Carmen and Victoria, with her husband, Antonio Sánchez Rodríguez, who died in 2001 at the age of 84. Carmen had celebrated her 107th birthday on Saturday 10 February in Malaga city, at the home of one of her daughters, surrounded by almost all her family.

There were six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, the eldest aged seven and the youngest aged one. "She was already very weak, but at least we were able to celebrate her 107th birthday," says Pilar Martín, 52, one of the six granddaughters. Just five days later Carmen died of natural causes at her home in Malaga city.

"Until Christmas 2022 she was very well, 105 years old, talking to everyone and very sharp. This last year has been much harder, because she could not see or hear well," explained Pilar, who revealed that at Christmas she asked her grandmother what she thought of the dress she was wearing, to which Carmen replied that it was nice but “too short”.

Secret to her longevity

According to her relatives, Carmen and Antonio lived and worked in the Periana countryside where they had olive, orange, peach, pear and cherry trees. However, when Antonio died Carmen moved to her daughters' houses, spending time with both of them in Malaga city. "But she always liked to return to the town to see her neighbours," Pilar said.

Her granddaughter jokes about Carmen’s longevity. "Maybe it was because of the water," which comes from the Los Baños de Vilo spring. What is certain is that Carmen Rodríguez is the oldest Periana resident in history, according to the family and mayor, Rafael Torrubia. "In October 2019 there was a meeting for older people in Periana and they gave her an award for being the oldest, and she was 102 at the time," Pilar explained.

The meeting in 2019 at which Carmen was presented with an award as the town's oldest resident, when she was 102.
The meeting in 2019 at which Carmen was presented with an award as the town's oldest resident, when she was 102. SUR

Carmen did not like to talk much about the "hard years" she experienced growing up, with the Civil War and the subsequent post-war years of hunger and misery. "Until a few months ago she said the rosary every morning, she exercised as soon as she got up, moving her feet and arms," recalled Pilar, adding, "She ate very healthily, she loved seasonal fruit.”

Carmen Rodríguez could read "quite well", which is unusual for someone of her age from rural Andalucía. She liked to look at leaflets and shopping catalogues and also read books with the "letrillas de rueda, which is a typical dance of the area", said Pilar. Carmen was buried in the local cemetery next to her husband.

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