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Flossie Page, 112; 6th-Oldest Person in the U.S., 11th in the World

February 26, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Flossie Page, the oldest Kansan on record, died Wednesday of pneumonia in Rosalia, Kan., according to granddaughter Becky Humig. She was 112.

The UCLA-based Gerontology Research Group, which keeps a global database on people living past 110, said she was the sixth-oldest person in the United States and 11th-oldest in the world.

Page was born Flossie Elizabeth Bishop on June 12, 1893, on her parents' homestead near the Kansas town of Haven, about 30 miles northwest of Wichita. As a young woman, she taught at a one-room school about 80 miles west of her birthplace.

After the United States entered World War I in 1917, she went to Washington, working as a stenographer in the War Risk and Insurance Department. After the war, she worked in the Treasury Department before returning to Kansas to work for the Internal Revenue Service in Wichita.

Page documented her life in journals. One entry from Jan. 6, 1918, reads: "Spanish influenza has been raging all over the world, nearly.... For most of October, the churches, schools, theaters and all public meetings were closed. In Washington, some days as high as 98 people would die."

Humig said Page lived by herself until she was 108 -- one year after she had surgery to replace a hip joint broken when she fell while cleaning windows.

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