Gerontology Wiki
Rita Donn
Rita Donn
Donn at the age of 110
Birth: 11 January 1889
Cullen, Moray, Scotland
Death: 17 January 1999
Buckie, Moray, Scotland
Age: 110 years, 6 days
Country: United Kingdom UK

Heneretta 'Rita' Donn (11 January 1889 – 17 January 1999) was a British supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in Scotland following the death of 108-year-old Peggy MacLean in 1997, until her death aged 110 years, 6 days. Her successor as Scotland's oldest person was 109-year-old Jane Redpath.


Rita Donn was born on 11 January 1889 to James Donn and Margaret Mowat. She never married and had one daughter.

Donn worked as a fish gutter during her youth, following the herring fleet to Lerwick in the summer and Lowestoft in the winter. She also worked as a wardmaid at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and emigrated to Canada with her daughter.

Donn returned to Scotland in the 1960s after living in Canada for about 30 years, and lived in her own home until she was 96.

To celebrate her 103rd birthday, Moray Firth Radio played an accordion number in her honour, which she tuned in to hear. Upon receiving her telegram from the Queen on her 104th birthday, she quipped "Fit wye did she ken aboot me."

Her 105th birthday was marked by a surprise visit from her daughter - who still resided in Canada - and grandson. By her 110th birthday, she still regularly spoke to her daughter on the phone, and could still recite poetry in Doric.

Donn died on 17 January 1999 at the age of 110 years, 6 days, less than one week after her 110th birthday.



Scotland's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Agnes Percy • Jean Hill • Martha Strachan • Agnes Fleming • Barbara Black • Jane Hamilton • Mary Hardie • Catherine Donald • Agnes McCandlish • Jean MacFee • Euphemia Sutherland • Jane McWilliam • Augusta Murray-Gartshore • Elspet Adan • Rachel Innes • Margaret Johnston • Margaret Geddes • Margaret Inglis • Jane McDonald • Janet Stalker • Elizabeth Barr • Mary Macduff • Catherine Lindsay • Agnes Murdoch • Helen Stuart • Rachel MacArthur • Isabella Miller • Frances Shakerley • Mary Munro • Isabella Fraser • William Kirkpatrick • Isabella MacLeod • Margaret MacLeod • Margaret Thom • Catherine Nicoll • Agnes Linklater • Mary Cross • Jane Speir • Isabella Diack • Mary Chisholm • Mary Lennox • Margaret Barnett • Margaret Baptie • Christina Preston • James Morrison • Jane Thomson • Mary Gibson • Jean Drysdale • Mina Fraser • Mary McPhee • Margaret Rutherford • Agnes Couper • Wilhelmina Reid • Mary MacMurray • Edith Ritchie • Margaret Ashby • Jane Mathie • Edith Kelly • Violet Oswald • Jessie Hardcastle • Henry Kempton • Mary Flockhart • Margaret Haxton • Kate Begbie • Ruth Dundas • Maggie Clouston • Mary Keddie • Mary Neilson • Annie Scott • Jane Cross • Jane Garry • Peggy MacLeanRita DonnJane RedpathAgnes KinnearLucy d'AbreuAnnie KnightMarjorie MacGownAlexina Calvert • Annie Turnbull • Marion Richardson • Janet Roberts • Janet Brown • Maria Lazzeri • Jessie Gallan • Irene Chapman • Alf Smith • Janet Mackay • Louisa Wilson • Marion Dawson