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Oldest Person in the World, Johnston's Dina Manfredini, Dies

Dina Manfredini was 115 years old. She held the title of world's oldest person for about two weeks.

Oldest Person in the World, Johnston's Dina Manfredini, Dies

Dina Manfredini, who became the world's oldest person two weeks ago and lived in parts of three centuries, has died. She was 115 and lived at Bishop Drumm Care Center in Johnston.

Manfredini became the oldest known person on the planet after Monroe, GA Patch reported the family of the world's oldest woman, Besse Cooper of Monroe, confirmed she died Dec. 4.

Manfredini was a working woman much of her life, surviving World War I in Europe before moving to the United States and helping with the effort to win World War II.

Jiroemon Kimura of Japan is now the oldest person in the world. He is 115 years and 239 days old.

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KCCI News Channel 8 reported that Manfredini died early Monday morning.

This spring, Manfredini's family threw a birthday party in her honor at the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston.

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Manfredini, who was born on April 4, 1897, in Italy, was health and strong well into her 100s, according to an August 2011 article by the Diocese of Des Moines.

She saw a lot.

After living through World War I in Europe, she moved to the United States in 1920.

She went to work in the 1940s at a plant in Ankeny to support her family throughout World War II and the Great Depression.

She moved to Des Moines to be with her husband, Riccardo Manfredini, who died in 1965, according to the Diocese's article.

The couple raised four children.

From the Diocese article:

Dina’s husband worked in the city’s coal mines until hurting his back. Then she went to work to make ends meet. As the nation prepared for World War II, Dina worked at the Des Moines Ordnance Plant in Ankeny, where 2 million rounds of ammunition were produced a day. She also worked at Swift cracking eggs that would be turned into powdered eggs for U.S. soldiers. She also cleaned houses until she was 90, lying about her age so people wouldn’t think she was too old to work.

In 1939, Dina and her husband bought a little bungalow on 1st Street in Valley Junction. Riccardo died in 1965 and Dina continued to live there until moving into the Martina Place Assisted Living Residence at the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston about four years ago when she was 110. These days, she spends much of her day sleeping.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Iowa had 793 residents over the age of 100, including Manfredini.

In the 2010 Census there were 53,365 centenarians, people 100 and older, living in the United States.

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