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Birth

6 October 1910Herwijnen, Gelderland, Netherlands

Death

15 May 2021Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands

Age

110

Cornelia Boonstra-van der Bijl

Cornelia Boonstra-van der Bijl was a Dutch supercentenarian who was the oldest person in the European Netherlands and the Benelux. Her age has been validated by the European Supercentenarian Organisation (ESO) and recognised by LongeviQuest (LQ).

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Biography

Boonstra-van der Bijl was born in Herwijnen, Gelderland, Netherlands on 6 October 1910 to Arie van der Bijl (1873 – 1963) and Dirkje (Ditta) van der Bijl-Exalto (1880 – 1976). Her father was a baker and her mother sold bread and groceries.

In 1940, Boonstra-van der Bijl married her husband, Hendrik Boonstra. They both worked in a pharmacy called ‘Casimir‘. The couple had six children – three sons and three daughters. Hendrik died in 1963 of colon cancer and Dirk, their youngest son, died when Boonstra-van der Bijl was a centenarian.

Boonstra-van der Bijl lived independently until the age of 100, when she moved into a retirement home in Arnhem, Gelderland. Despite her eyesight and memory deteriorating, she was still able to walk at the time of her 109th birthday. On her 110th birthday, it was reported that she suffered from dementia.

Boonstra-van der Bijl died on 15 May 2021 in Arnhem at the age of 110 years, 221 days. She was the last Dutch person (mainland) born in 1910 and the only one to become a supercentenarian.

Biography partially sourced from Gerontology Wiki

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Recognition

Boonstra-van der Bijl became the oldest living person in the province of Gelderland after the death of Johanna Besseling-Levers on 14 September 2019.

On 2 September 2020, she became the oldest resident of the European Netherlands following the death of 114-year-old Anne Brasz-Later. She was not the oldest person in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, however, as Maria Luisa Benjamin lived on the island of Aruba.

Boonstra-van der Bijl’s age was verified by Marco Wikkerink and validated by the ESO on 14 October 2020.

Following the 29 April 2021 death of Belgium’s Julia Van Hool, Boonstra-van der Bijl became the oldest living person in the Benelux. After her death, the titles of oldest in the European Netherlands and the Benelux passed to Ebeltje Boekema-Hut and Marcelle Lévaz respectively