By Shweta Desai
PARIS (AA) - Supercentenarian Marcel Meys, who was 112 years old and believed to be the oldest person in France, died after contracting COVID-19, local media reported.
Meys died on Dec. 15 at a hospital in Vienne, a commune in the Rhone Alpes Auvergne region in southeastern France. He was admitted to the hospital and placed on oxygen support after his health deteriorated at home, his only daughter Nicole Boiron, told the media. His funeral will be held on Dec. 22, the daily Ouest reported.
Meys was reportedly unvaccinated and living alone at his home in Saint-Romain-en-Gal, which has been his place of residence since 1957. He lived a happy, beautiful life and was proud to be the oldest citizen, according to his family.
A native of the Rhone valley, Meys was born in July 1909 and lived through the historic periods of the world wars and the 1929 Great Depression. At the time of World War II, he worked as a paramedic and ran an ambulance taxi service. He supported the French resistance movement that was mainly centered in the southeastern region to fight the collaborators of the Vichy regime by ferrying the wounded members to the hospitals. He held on to this job until his retirement in 1967.
Traditionally, France accords the title of “Dean” to the oldest living members in the departments or regions. Meys took over the title from Martiniquais Jules Theobald who was born on April 17, 1909, and died last October.
Jeanne Mayet, 110 years old, from Puy-de-Dome department in Rhone Alpes Auvergne is now believed to be the successor to the title of Dean and the oldest person living in France, daily Le Progres reported.