Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France

Honorine Rondello was born into a fishing family in Brittany in 1903 but has lived most of her life by the Côte d’Azur in south-eastern France.

Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
Honorine Rondello lived here in Menton until midway through the Second World War. Photo: Guenter M. Kirchweger

She became the oldest living French person on Tuesday after the death of Grenoble resident Élisabeth Collot, who was also 113. 

Rondello moved south from Britanny for work at the age of 16 and met her husband in her new home town, Menton. 

There they lived until allied German and Italian forces evacuated the town during the Second World War and the pair moved to the village of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume.

She worked until she was 73 and “never wanted for anything”, Rondello told the local Var Matin newspaper. 

“At night when I can’t sleep I sometimes recall my past, my youth. We weren’t rich but we were happy, we were content with what we had,” she said. 

“Today people are never happy. The more they have, the more they want.” 

Workers at the care home where she lives described the 113-year-old as a smiling, vibrant woman who took a stroll in the garden every day without fail.  

“She’s a very humble, modest women, who’s passionate about the news,” one member of staff told the France Bleu Provence radio station. “She reads the newspaper every day and watches the news on TV,” he added. 


‘Sleeping’ man had been dead for two weeks

A man in his eighties who had been laying dead in his bed for up to two weeks was presumed to be sleeping by his wife and son.

A nurse found the body, already decomposing, in bed during a medical visit for his 42-year-old son at the house in Aix-les-Bains, in the Savoie region.

Neither the son or the man’s wife, both of whom suffer from psychiatric illnesses, realised he had died, despite the wife sleeping in the same bedroom as the body.

“We took him food to eat, but he was sleeping,” the son told the authorities, according to local paper l'Essor Savoyard.

Police said the nurse had visited the house two weeks prior to the discovery of the body, which led them to believe that the man had been dead for between one and two weeks.

Soon after the discovery, the wife was admitted to hospital for “quite serious” psychiatric problems.