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Issue: July 25, 2007
Title: Manitoba's oldest person dies at 110
Web Link: link
Woman's birth called a miracle after mother prayed at Quebec City shrine
Mary Ann Scoles, the oldest documented person in Manitoba, died Monday after 110 years that included exercise, clean living, good food ? and living it up in Las Vegas.
Scoles, a mother of four and grandmother of nine, spent her entire life in Manitoba, mostly around Treherne, southwest of Winnipeg.
Her son, Ted Scoles, said his mother's birth was considered a miracle; his grandmother had tuberculosis when she was pregnant, and travelled to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré cathedral in Quebec City, famous for curing the sick, to pray she'd live long enough to deliver her child.
Mary Ann Scoles was born on Christmas Day in 1896; her mother died days later.
Ted Scoles remembers his mother as a vibrant woman who curled and played tennis.
"She tended to credit all the exercise and the good food that she had on the farm with being important to her health," he said in Winnipeg on Tuesday.
"She did a tremendous amount of walking, and being that we were on that farm, she walked the three miles [five kilometres] into town more than once, into Altamont to trade to the grocery."
Scoles didn't smoke, didn't drink and rarely swore ? but she didn't say no to a game of chance.
"Playing cards was a very regular pasttime," said her son. "She liked to play whist and she played penny-ante poker."
She wasn't adverse to the bright lights of Las Vegas, either, visiting several times when she was in her 90s.
"Going up the elevator to her room at 2:30 in the morning, she was mumbling behind us, 'I didn't come to Vegas to sleep,'" Ted Scoles recalls.
A service to celebrate the long life of Mary Ann Scoles will be held Thursday in Treherne.