Gerontology Wiki
Bernardina Van Dommelen
Bernardina-van-dommelen-viert-111e-verjaardag 16 240x0.jpg
Birth: 15 March 1899
Antwerp, Belgium
Death: 16 April 2010
Antwerp, Belgium
Age: 111 years, 32 days
Country: BelgiumBEL

Bernardina van Dommelen (15 March 1899 – 16 April 2010) was a validated Belgian supercentenarian.


Bernardina van Dommelen was born on 15 March 1899. She was, since the death of the 110-year-old Romanie Pollet on 17 October 2009, the oldest person in Belgium. On 10 January 2010 she became the fourth oldest Belgian ever. She died a few months later in her sleep in the age of 111 years, 32 days.

Bernardina van Dommelen came from a large family with seven children: one boy and six girls. One of her sisters was an opera singer and another sister was a pianist. At that time famous composers and conductors such as Lodewijk De Vocht and Lodewijk Mortelmans, his tutor, regularly visited the Van Dommelen house. She grew up in the Regentstraat in Antwerp North and later moved to Hoogboom. On 22 April 1922 she married Willem Frans (Guillaume) De Visscher. Together they had one daughter, Magda, who died in October 2008 at the age of 82 and did not have any children herself. Bernardina Van Dommelen lived in the Sint-Gabriël rest home in Antwerp-South just before her 100th birthday.

Bernardina van Dommelen was still in a good health until shortly before her death. Although at the age of 111 she was almost deaf and blind, and needed more and more rest, she was mentally healthy and still able to do a short walk every day, along with a nurse. She went every day to the chapel to pray and lay flowers. Her secret to continue enjoying life for so long, she summarized as follows: "Eat everything, but especially a lot of fish, live from day to day and do not worry about anything".