Gerontology Wiki
Zelda McCague
Zelda McCague
Birth: 28 March 1888
Ontario, Canada
Death: 6 August 2001
Ontario, Canada
Age: 113 years, 131 days
Country: CanadaCAN

Zelda McCague (née Strongman; 31 March 1888 – 6 August 2001) was recognized as the oldest living Canadian and one of the oldest people in the world whose age has been verified.[1] The long-time resident of Beeton, 40 kilometres north of Toronto, once attributed her longevity to eating small meals and abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes. Her grandson, Paul McCague, a Toronto lawyer, said it had a lot to do with leading a good life and good genes.[2]


Zelda Viola Strongman was born one of six children born in a log cabin on the family farm, near Alliston, Ontario.[2]

In 1907, she married local farmer William McCague. Together, they farmed for many years. William McCague died in 1940 at the age of 61. Zelda, who was 52 at the time, never remarried.[2]

She had a hard time during the Depression as all farmers did ... "[Y]ou can't say that she didn't have stress in her life because she certainly did", added her grandson. She lived through a lot. "She remembered the first car. When she got her first car, they bought it out of a Sears catalogue." She lived through the First World War and was afraid of losing her husband.[2]

Although McCague was believed to be one of the oldest women alive, she was not in the Guinness Book of Records because she had no birth certificate. However her age has been conclusively proved by other documents. As McCague turned 113, however, the official record holder – according to Guinness – was Marie Brémont of France, who celebrated her 115th birthday in April.[2]

McCague outlived two of her four children, dying in her sleep of natural causes on 6 August 2001, aged 113 years 131 days.[2]


Canada's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Flore BelandEmma Bingham • (Herman Smith-Johannsen) • Mary Ann EsseryClara RobertsonAgnes MunceNellie ThompsonAlice Sjoquist • Lillian RossMarie-Louise Meilleur • Marie-Louise Meunier • Maria Mallozzi • Zelda McCague • Fanny Martland • Evangeline SaulnierAnne Samson • Julie Winnefred Bertrand • Jennie Fitzgerald • Margaret Fitzgerald • Pearl LutzkoCora Hansen • Yvonne Lamoureux • Merle Barwis • Colombe Benoit-Leclerc • Orma Slack • Marguerite Wabano • Lilian Cornell • Ellen Gibb • Sarah Patenaude-Bruyere • Phyllis Ridgway • Cecile Klein • Shige Mineshiba