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Helvi Kissala

Helvi Dagmar Kissala (née Leppänen) is a Finnish supercentenarian who is currently the country's oldest living resident. Her age has not been validated by LongeviQuest.


Kissala was born in Mänttä (present-day Mänttä-Vilppula), Pirkanmaa, Finland (then Russian Empire), on 26 October 1913. Her parents were Johannes and Eiffa Leppänen.

In 1939, she married Niilo Mikael Helenius. The couple had two children; a daughter named Ritva and a son named Toini. She was widowed in 1959. In 1967, she married Heino Kissala. Throughout her life, she had various jobs, including working as a cowherd, a housewife, and a factory cleaner. Her second husband passed away in 1983.

At the age of 105, when a doctor asked about the secret of her longevity, she replied, “Since I was a child, I’ve always done hard work, eaten well, avoided light products, and indulged in a good, fatty snack. My remedy has been prayer and a touch of brandy in the evenings.” She resided in her own home with the assistance of home care services until she reached the age of 108. At the age of 109, her eyesight and hearing had significantly deteriorated, and her mobility was greatly restricted. At the time, her daughter was 79 years old, and she had four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

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On 13 January 2023, following the death of 110-year-old Sirkka Nieminen, she became the oldest living person in Finland.

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* “Helvi Kissala on Mänttä-Vilppulan vanhin – juhlii 109-vuotissyntympäiväänsä” – KMV-lehti, 26 October 2022

* “ ”Olis täällä joskus tanssia!” ” – Ilta-Sanomat, 29 April 2023

* “Helvi Kissala täyttää tänään 110 vuotta” – SuPer verkkolehti, 26 October 2023