Gerontology Wiki
Jef Smets
Jef Smets
Jef Smets receiving a papal blessing on 18 April 2018 at age 104
Birth: 15 April 1914
Retie, Antwerp, Belgium
Death: 9 September 2021
Turnhout, Antwerp, Belgium
Age: 107 years, 147 days
Country: BelgiumBEL

Jozef "Jef" Pieter Lodewijk Smets (15 April 1914 – 9 September 2021) was a Belgian centenarian who was the oldest known living man in Belgium at the time of his death.


Jef Smets was born in Retie, Antwerp, Belgium on 15 April 1914. He studied at the Klein-Seminarie van Hoogstraten and did his priestly studies in Mechelen. He was ordained a priest on 18 April 1938. At the University of Leuven he became a candidate in Germanic Philology. Later, Smets became teacher and superior in Hoogstraten, pastor-dean in Geel, regional vicar, and rector of the Gasthuiszusters in Turnhout.

His sister Marieke Smets (27 February 1916 – 15 July 2016) lived to be 100 years, 139 days.

On 18 April 2018 at age 104, Smets who was a priest for 80 years at the time, received a papal blessing from the Bishop of Antwerp Johan Bonny.

He became the oldest known living man in Belgium, following the death of 109-year-old Sylvain Vallee on 25 July 2021.

Jef Smets died in Turnhout, Antwerp, Belgium on 9 September 2021 at the age of 107 years, 147 days.


Belgium's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (VE)

Julien Sterckx • Edmond Van Cauteren • Pieter Hinnisdaels • Clement de Vos • Polydoor Vandersypt • Eugene Naniot • Cesar Dassonville • Lievin Pelfrene • Francois Rygaert • Albert de Selliers de Moranville • Dictus Bomans • Jules-Leo Neijrinck • Emiel Vanderhaegen • Petrus Van de Voorde • Jozef de Koker • Paul Henrard • Louis Marion • Georges Nevejans • Marcel Duguet • Jos de Kort • Jan Goossenaerts • Oscar Coulembier • Aime Wille • Jacques ClemensGustavus LeclercqMaurice StaelSylvain ValleeJef SmetsJaak Broekx