Oldest person in the Netherlands, Geertje Kuijntjes, passes away at 114

A candle burning in the dark
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Geertje Kuijntjes, who became the oldest living person in the Netherlands in 2015, has died at the age of 114. The lifelong resident of Gorinchem, Zuid-Holland, was unmarried with no children, according to RTL Nieuws.

"After a long and active life, our town's oldest inhabitant, and that of the Netherlands, Ms. Geertje Kuijntjes, died on Christmas Eve," wrote Gorinchem mayor Reinie Melissant. "I wish her surviving relations the strength to adjust to this loss."

Kuijntjes was the third-oldest living person in Europe, and the fifth worldwide, according to the Gerontology Research Group. She would have celebrated her 115th birthday on July 19.

The former hairdresser lived independently up to the age of 105, according to RTL Nieuws and AD. She continued her main hobby, knitting, until just a few years ago.

Though her parents lived to be 96, her siblings were not so lucky. Brother Arie passed away in 1976 at 66 years of age. Twin siblings born in 1906 died just a few months after they were born, and two other siblings died during birth.

Anne Brasz-Later is now the oldest person in the Netherlands, born 113 years, 161 days ago on July 16, 1906 in the Netherlands. The Utrecht resident is now tenth oldest worldwide, and the fourth oldest in Europe.