Birth

30 November 1865Dunedin, Otago Region, New Zealand

Death

18 June 1976Alameda County, California, United States

Age

110

Teresa Locke

Teresa Tracy Locke (née Fitzgerald) was a New Zealander-born American supercentenarian whose age has been validated by LongeviQuest.

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Biography

Locke was born in Dunedin, Otago Region, New Zealand, on 30 November 1865. She was the third of six children born to Patrick Tracy Fitzgerald and Honora O’Halloran. Her mother later passed away during childbirth, leaving her father with six young children to raise alone. Her father worked as a shoemaker, specializing in corrective footwear. She began her early education at a church-sponsored school.

At the age of 17, she and another young woman left New Zealand for Australia, seeking greater opportunities. She resided in both Sydney and Melbourne, where she had the chance to attend concerts and lectures. Her interest in forensics and elocution grew during this time. Later, she and her friend ran a tea room. It was through this job that she met her husband, Allan Locke, who was a young marine engineer. They were married on 5 April 1899 in St. Matthias Church of England in Paddington, New South Wales, Australia. At some point earlier, her husband was initiated as a Mason in Tarbolton Lodge Number 12 in Sydney.

Thanks to her husband’s occupation, she had the opportunity to travel with him. They visited Hong Kong in 1899 and Vancouver, Canada, in 1900, where their son Allan was born. Later, they moved to Mason Street in San Francisco, California. They lost most of their possessions during the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906. Subsequently, they resettled in Mill Valley, where, after living as tent refugees, they constructed their home in 1908. During their time in Mill Valley, the family were active members of the Episcopal Church of Our Savior. During World War I, the basement of their home served as a center for British war relief activities. Thousands of bandages were rolled and prepared there.

Her husband passed away in February 1954. Following his passing, she remained in their home until March 1962, when she entered the Masonic Home in Union City (Alameda County) at the age of 96.

Locke passed away in Alameda County, California, USA, on 18 June 1976, at the age of 110 years, 201 days. She was survived by her son, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

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Recognition

On 13 August 1975, following the passing of 111-year-old Mabel Hyde, she became the oldest (known) living person in the U.S. state of California.

In November 1975, she celebrated her 110th birthday, becoming the first supercentenarian born in New Zealand.

Locke held the record as the oldest (validated) person ever born in New Zealand until 11 October 2013, when her final age was surpassed by Maudie Wilson.

Her age was verified by Jimmy Lindberg, and validated by LongeviQuest on 15 February 2024.

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Attribution

* “Century plus four” – Daily Review, 1 December 1969

* Masonic Home Messenger, July 1974

* “Teresa Locke” – San Rafael Independent Journal, 19 June 1976