Gerontology Wiki
Matena Zokova
Matena Zokova
Birth: 13 January 1910
Mega Dereio, Greece (then Kingdom of Bulgaria)
Death: 4 July 2018
Ivaylovgrad, Bulgaria
Age: 108 years, 172 days
Country: GreeceGREBulgariaBUL

Matena Zokova Zlatilova (Bulgarian: Матена Зокова Златилова; 13 January 1910 – 4 July 2018) was a Bulgarian centenarian who was the oldest person in Bulgaria from the death of Pavel Vasilev Hristov in May 2017.


Early life

Matena Zokova was born on 13 January 1910 in Mega Dereio (Bulgarian: Голям Дервент), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Greece (then Kingdom of Bulgaria). Her grandfather, her uncle and her father built a large house with the intention of living in it with the whole family. In 1913, the Ottomans burned their house down and killed Matena's uncle and grandfather. 

During the Second Balkan War, her family became part of the Thracian Bulgarians (refugees). In escaping, seeing the Ottomans catch up with them, Matena's mother, running away with her eldest son, and then 3-year-old Matena, caught her with her hands and tried to run away, but Matena managed to hide and she stayed hidden from Ottomans for 3 days, until her family found her. They managed to escape and reach the Lambuh village.

Later life

Matena married Atanas Zlatilov and had two sons with him, Ivan and Kolyo. Her husband died in 1992/1993. Ivan died in 1993 in Sofia and Kolyo died in around 2016.

On her 105th birthday, she was visited by Mayor of Ivailovgrad municipality, Diana Ovcharova. Since 2014, she lived in nursing home in Ivaylovgrad. Even as a centenarian, she was able to toll the church bell in Lambuh. She had a grandson who lives in Sofia, Bulgaria, and a granddaughter who lives in the Czech Republic. In 2017, she also had two great-grandchildren.

In May 2017, Matena became the oldest living person in Bulgaria, following the death of 107-year-old Pavel Vasilev Hristov. In April 2018, she was admitted to the hospital due to abdominal pain.

Matena died on 4 July 2018 at the age of 108 years, 172 days.


Bulgaria's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Gyulbie Yumer • Maria MuhovaPavel Vasilev Hristov • Matena Zokova • Nedelcho BoikovGeorgi Iliev Georgiev