At 117, Violet Mosse Brown didn’t hold the title as the world’s oldest person for long, after taking the honor from Spaniard Emma Morano, who passed away in April this year at 117 years of age. She was also predeceased by the world’s oldest man, after Holocaust survivor Yisrael Kristal died at the age of 113 during August in Haifa, Israel, shortly before his 114th birthday.

Brown was also predeceased by her son, 97-year-old Harold Fairweather, who passed away shortly after she was declared the world’s oldest person in April this year. Fairweather himself had been considered the world's oldest child with a living parent.

World’s oldest person was unwell shortly prior to her death

Affectionately known as “Aunt V,” Brown was born in Jamaica on March 10, 1900. Her son, 85-year-old Barry Russell, told The Jamaica Gleaner that his mother was unwell on Saturday last week and visited the doctor, who said the elderly lady was suffering from dehydration and had an irregular heartbeat. However, she passed away at Fairview Medical Center in Montego Bay, Jamaica at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.

Family squabbles made her last days difficult

Russell said his mother’s last few days were tense as there was an ongoing dispute in the family as to whether she was getting the best medical care. Some family members had removed her from her home in Duanvale, Trelawny with other relatives not knowing where she was.

There was also concern that Brown would miss an appointment scheduled with Guinness Book of World Records officials. Loop News Barbados quotes one, unnamed family member as saying they came to look for Brown on Friday afternoon, only to be told she had passed away.

Brown was somewhat of a celebrity in Jamaica, after receiving visits from Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and other prominent leaders in the community.

World’s oldest person wasn’t just waiting to die

Loops News quoted Brown in an interview last year as reflecting on life following the emancipation of Jamaica. At that time, Jamaica was still under British rule and the black majority was still considered to be oppressed. Brown told them it was still a little “like slavery” and was hard, but little by little Jamaica had become a good place.

Brown said at the time that she was enjoying life and wasn’t just sitting waiting to die. She said she enjoyed relaxing on her veranda, watching the passing parade of people and cars going by.

With Brown’s passing, Nabi Tajima, 117, is now the world’s oldest person. Tajima was born in Japan on August 4, 1900, several months after Brown was born in March of that year.