Canada's oldest person dies in Moncton
Margaret Fitzgerald passed away Tuesday in Moncton. She was 113.
Her 90-year-old nephew, Reg King, is her only known living relative. He still lives in nearby Tankville, the small village where Fitzgerald grew up.
He recalled Fitzgerald fondly as a kind and hard-working farm girl.
"You'd find her out in the field milking cows in the morning quicker than you'd find her in the house doing housework," he said. "She was a real smart lady."
The youngest of eight children, Fitzgerald eventually left the farm, got a job in town as a dental assistant and later married her boss.
Together they moved to the French islands of St-Pierre-Miquelon, near Newfoundland, before returning years later to New Brunswick.
"When she was 100 years old, you could talk with her and she could tell you things ... stories about the old times."
"She's a big part of our history gone," agreed Shirley Cail, a lifelong resident of Tankville who has documented the history of area families.
It's believed Fitzgerald was one of the 15 oldest people in the world.
King said longevity runs in his family, but he credited his aunt's record-breaking age to a clean and sober lifestyle.
"I never heard tell of her smoking or drinking liquor, and that probably had a lot to do with her health," he said.
Fitzgerald's funeral is scheduled for Friday.
She will be buried with the rest of her family in St. Lawrence Cemetery in Moncton, about three kilometres from her childhood home.