World's oldest woman dies in Montreal at age 115

A Quebec woman who was considered to be the world's oldest living woman died Thursday at the age of 115.

A Quebec resident who was considered to be the world's oldest living woman died Thursday at the age of 115.

Julie Winnefred Bertrand died in her sleep at her Montreal nursing home, said her nephew, André Bertrand.

"She just stopped breathing, that's a nice way to go," he told the Montreal Gazette.

Bertrand was born on Sept. 16, 1891 in Coaticook, a town in Quebec's Eastern Townships.

The eldest of six children and the daughter of a harness maker, she lived in the town most of her life, spending much of her time as a clothes buyer and saleswoman in the department store F.X. Lajoie.

She never married, but had several suitors.

Her nieces and nephews said she loved clothes and loved to travel. They said she was tough, feisty and self-sufficient, but kind. When her parents aged, she took care of them and invited them to live with her in her apartment, the Gazette reported Friday.

When her parents died, she moved to Montreal.

For the past 35 years, she's lived in a nursing home on Gouin Boulevard East.

She earned the distinction as the oldest living woman when 116-year-old Elizabeth Bolden of Tennessee died on Dec. 11, 2006.

Emiliano Mercado del Toro of Puerto Rico is thought to be the world's oldest person. He wasborn 26 days before Bertrand.

In the past two years, Bertrand had never left the sixth floor of the nursing home where she lived.

Unexpectedly, on Wednesday, she asked to be pushed through the nursing home in her wheelchair so she could visit the dining room, the chapel and the front lobby.

She dieda few hours later.

Bertrand will be buried in Coaticook.

With files from the Canadian Press