Tekla Juniewicz, the oldest Pole and the second-oldest person in the world, has died at the age of 116, Gliwice City Council confirmed.
Mrs. Juniewicz passed away on Aug. 19. In a statement, her local council said she was “very active and could not stand stagnation. She liked the cinema, historical programs, playing cards and flowers, she gardened and read a lot.”
Tekla Juniewicz holds the record for the longest life any Pole has ever lived. “She was most importantly an incredible woman with a huge heart and a strong character. She lived for 116 years 2 months and 9 days,” the Gliwice Council informed.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who met Mrs. Juniewicz, posted a farewell tweet where he expressed his respect for Tekla Juniewicz and recalled their last meeting.
Mrs. Tekla Juniewicz (née Dodak) was born June 10, 1906, in Krupsk, former Austro-Hungary and just 40 kilometers from Lviv. After World War I started and following the death of her mother, she went to a school in Przeworsk, southeastern Poland. When Poland gained independence in 1918, she was 12 years old. In 1927, she married Jan Juniewicz and moved to Borysław, modern-day Ukraine. She had two daughters, Janina and Urszula.
After World War II, in November 1945, Mrs. Tekla along with her husband and daughters left the territory that was annexed by the Soviet Union and traveled through Poland to Gliwice in the Sielesia region of southern Poland. In 1980, she became a widow. She lived independently until 2009 when her grandchildren, Anna and Adam, started taking care of her.
After the death of Jadwiga Szubartowicz in 2017, she became the oldest living Pole. On April 19, 2022, after Japanese Kane Tanaki died, she was considered to be the second-oldest person in the world.