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Brazilian Laurita Pereira Donadio (1905-2016) Validated as Supercentenarian
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Iceland’s Oldest Man turns 106
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BIOGRAPHY

Farris was born in Lewisville, Texas, USA, on 19 July 1905, to parents John Wesley Bell (1879–1964) and Minnie Ola Woods (1882–1969). She had one older brother, Troy Eugene (1902–1911), who died at the age of 8. The family moved to Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1910. Her father became a successful grocer, and her mother was a housewife. Farris attended Booker T. Washington School in Wichita Falls through the tenth grade and then enrolled in Prairie View Academy. She graduated in 1921 and began her college studies at Prairie View A & M University. After two years of college, she received a certificate from Prairie View and started teaching in Electra, Texas. There, she discovered her love for teaching, and it became her passion for the next 50 years.

After teaching in Electra for two years, she returned to Wichita Falls and joined the faculty at Washington School. In 1927, she married James Randolph Farris (1898–1960), whom she had met while both were students at Prairie View. They continued to pursue courses at Prairie View during the summers. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1937, while her husband achieved his master’s degree, eventually becoming the Superintendent of the Woodland School District in Mexia, Texas.

The couple had two children: Charlye Ola Farris (1929–2010) and James Randolph Farris (born 1947). Her daughter, Charlye, was the first woman to practice law in Wichita County and the first black woman to hold a position as judge in Texas. In 1973, her daughter adopted a son, whom Roberta affectionately named Troy in honor of her older brother. Farris retired from teaching in May 1973, dedicating much of her energy to raising Troy Kevin Farris.

Farris was a devoted Christian. She served at Gilbert Memorial C.M.E. Church, taking on roles as a pianist, organist, and Sunday school teacher. Her membership at Gilbert Memorial spanned over 100 years.

Farris passed away in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA, on 12 May 2016, at the age of 110 years, 298 days. She was survived by her son, and two grandsons.

RECOGNITION

At the time of death, she was the fourth-oldest (known) living person in the U.S. state of Texas, behind Corine Snow, Hazel Gates, and Martha Coleman.

Her age was verified by Stefan Maglov, Jimmy Lindberg, and Jack Ellis, and validated by LongeviQuest on 15 January 2024.

ATTRIBUTION

* Roberta Evelyn Bell Farris – Find A Grave

* “Roberta Farris, Wichita Falls’ Oldest Resident, Has Died” – Texomas, 13 May 2016

* “OBITUARIES Roberta Farris” – Times Record News, 15 May 2016

GALLERY

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