| SAN DIEGO
Domingues, who was recognized as the oldest living American,
died at the age of 114 Aug 24, 2002 .
Domingues died in her sleep, said Rebecca Williams,
administrator of Brighton Place, the nursing home where
Domingues lived since 1995. Though Domingues had remained
physically active and mentally sharp, her health had declined
over the last month.
"I just think at 114, it was just her time," her granddaughter
Deborah Murphy said Friday.
Domingues was born in the Cape Verde Islands and insisted her
birth year was 1887, which would have made her 115 and the
oldest person in the world. But a search turned up a baptism
date of 1888. The Guinness Book of Records ruled she was 114
with a birthdate of Feb. 19, 1888.
The oldest known living person is Kamato Hongo of Japan, who
was born on Sept. 16, 1887.
According to the Gerontology Research Group, the organization
which helped authenticate Domingues' age, John McMorran of
Florida is now the oldest American. Born on June 19, 1889, he is
Born to an Italian sea captain and a Cape Verdean woman,
Domingues was 18 when she married Jose Domingues, a whaling
captain. The couple moved to New Bedford, Mass., in 1907. They
raised four children while Adelina worked as a seamstress.
After her husband died in 1950, Domingues moved to Southern
California to be near her son Frank, who died in Palm Desert in
Murphy, the daughter of Frank Domingues, said his passing was
devastating to her grandmother, who lost her first son when he
was 2 and another son and a daughter when they were teenagers.
"She asked why she would still be alive and have to bury her
last child," said Murphy, of Hookstown, Pa. "That was the
hardest thing for her, to still be alive and having buried all
four of her children and her husband and brothers and sisters."
Domingues lived on her own until she was 107. She voted well
into her 100s, and often wrote admiring letters to Ronald
"She was just our feisty little Portuguese sweetheart,"
Williams said. "She was quite opinionated, very clear in her
wants and needs."
Domingues herself never tried to offer a secret for her
longevity, though she ate a diet rich in fresh fruits and
vegetables, and abstained from alcohol and tobacco, Murphy said.
"She never took any credit for anything she achieved in life.
She always gave credit to God and to his plan and purpose in
life," Murphy said.
Domingues is survived by six grandchildren and nine
great-grandchildren. (Source AP)
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