27 February 1905New Ashford, Massachusetts, United States


12 May 2016North Bennington, Vermont, United States



Ethel Raney

Ethel Helena Raney (née Packard) was an American supercentenarian whose age has been validated by LongeviQuest.

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Raney was born in New Ashford, Massachusetts, USA, on 27 February 1905, to parents Asa Packard and Ellen Laura White (1882–1963). She grew up on a farm. She had seven younger siblings: Ernest, Herbert, Marion, Clifford (1913–1995), Roland (1915–1991), Clara and Gerald (1919–1994). Her father left the family in 1921. She helped raise her younger siblings and tended to the farm, where they owned cows, horses, and sheep, and cultivated carrots, beets, and cucumbers.

On 13 May 1934, she married William Henry Raney (1901–1983) in Hoosick Falls, New York. Her husband was originally from Sandgate, Vermont, and they had met at a square dance. Her husband was a longtime employee of Weedens Tannery in North Adams, Massachusetts. The two later established their home and family in New Ashford, Massachusetts. The couple had seven children: William Jr. (1935–1955), Elsie (1938–2002), Catherine (1941–2007), Ralph, Arthur, Arnold, and Martha. As a mother, she helped run the family farm, worked in various restaurants, and engaged in house cleaning to make a living. During her free moments, she enjoys crocheting, creating afghans, doilies, and clothing for stuffed animals. She never drove a car or rode a bike in her life. She walked everywhere, especially to and from school, but also as an adult.

In 1984, she moved to North Bennington, where she spent the remainder of her life with her daughter Martha and son-in-law. At the age of 107, she had 15 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and nine great-great grandchildren.

Raney passed away at her home in North Bennington, Vermont, USA, on 12 May 2016, at the age of 111 years, 75 days. She was survived by two of her children, Arnold Raney and Martha Paquin. She was also survived by a cousin, Cecile Love, who was about to turn 101 at the time.

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In February 2015, she celebrated her 110th birthday, becoming the first supercentenarian in Vermont in over a decade, the last one being Carolyn Drew in August 2004. At the time of death, she was the oldest living person in the state.

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* “In Vermont, New Ashford native enjoys gift of longevity” – Berkshire Eagle, 27 February 2009

* “At 107, Ethel looks back” – Bennington Banner, 27 February 2012

* “Ethel Helena Raney (Packard)” – Mahar Funeral Home and Cremation Services

* Ethel Helena Packard Raney – Find A Grave