Canada’s oldest person, Cecile Edith Klein of Quebec, passes away at 114

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WATCH: Canada's oldest person has passed away at 114 years of age. The supercentenarian was the 16th oldest person in the world. Global’s Olivia O'Malley takes a look at who Cecile Edith Klein was, through the eyes of her family – Jan 17, 2022

Côte Saint-Luc supercentenarian Cecile Edith Klein died Thursday at the age of 114. Before her death, she was Canada’s oldest person and the 16th oldest in the world.

Born in Montreal in 1907, she went on to attend secretarial school, then work for an early form of HR. Klein, born Efros, married Erwin Klein (1905-1999) in 1932. During the Second World War, the couple’s pharmaceutical company, International Drug, manufactured and delivered pharmaceuticals to Montreal hospitals and pharmacies.

She is survived by three children, seven grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren.

Klein (sitting in the middle) smiling on a family cruise to Alaska at 102-years-old. Courtesy of Dr. Elaine Nussbaum
Photo of Klein with her family in Alaska at age 102. Courtesy of Dr. Elaine Nussbaum
Klein (far left) taking in Hairspray produced by the Cote Saint Luc Dramatic Society. Courtesy of Mitchell Brownstein
Klein is pictured with her daughter Harriet Nussbaum (on the right) and granddaughter Dr. Elaine Nussbaum at her 114 birthday. courtesy of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal

“She always loved being around family, travelling with family and spending quality time with family,” said Klein’s granddaughter, Dr. Elaine Nussbaum.

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Klein travelled well into her centenarian years, taking cruises to Alaska and Mexico at the age of 102 and 103, with family always by her side.

Read more: Canada’s oldest person ready to celebrate her 114th birthday in Montreal

Klein celebrated her 114th birthday at Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre on June 15, 2021.

While Klein boasted good genes — her great-grandmother and her great-grandmother’s sister were both centenarians — her secret to her long life might have had more to do with attitude.

This past June, long-time family friend and Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said in a statement, “Cecile has told me in the past the secret to her long life has been to not worry about the small things.”

Upon her passing, Brownstein said the supercentenarian was “always smiling and positive,” and enjoyed shows at the annual Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society musical productions.

“Well into her 100s, she climbed the stairs at Wagar to see Fiddler on the Roof and told me how happy she was to do the exercise,” he said.

Klein’s family said her passion was music, theatre and lectures. She never stopped learning, and at the age of 111, Klein still read the newspaper without glasses.

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Brownstein said he wishes that her entire family and anyone who was touched by Cecile will “continue to enjoy every moment of life in the way she did.”

— With files from Global News’ Annabelle Olivier

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