Valentine Ligny was born in Avion, Pas-de-Calais, Hauts-de-France, France, on 22 October 1906, into a family of four children. In 1933, she married Pierre Ligny. The couple settled in the neighborhood of Saint-Acheul, Amiens, where they would have three daughters: Nicole, Claudine, and Francoise. She became employed as an office worker for the company Boulogne, and worked there until retiring at the age of 65.
In 1940, during the events of World War II, Ligny evacuated to Amboise, Indre-et-Loire, in a cart with her three daughters, while her husband was held prisoner in Amiens citadel. As a result of bombings and air raids, her house on Croy street was destroyed. After the Liberation of France in 1944, Ligny came back to Amiens with her daughters, and was reunited with her husband, who rebuilt their house. A few years later, in 1947, her husband died while saving his nephew from drowning.
In June 2014, at the age of 107, she was interviewed for a news report. At the time, she still lived at her home and was mostly independent, although she received some help from a caregiver. She said that she would reach the age of 110, and insisted that she wouldn’t move into a nursing home, as she liked living in her house. She would, however, be forced by her family to move into a nursing home about a year later, as frequent falls made it too dangerous for her to live alone.
At the time of her 113th birthday, she was still able to walk with assistance.
Valentine Ligny died in Amiens, Somme, Hauts-de-France, France on 4 January 2022 at the age of 115 years, 74 days. At the time of her death, she was the second-oldest living person in France (behind Lucile Randon), and the sixth-oldest validated living person in the world. She remains the fourth-oldest French person of all time, behind Jeanne Calment, Lucile Randon, and Jeanne Bot.
Her age was verified by Antoine Demarais, and validated by the Gerontology Research Group on 25 February 2019.
* “Le retour à une vie ‘normale’ (ordinaire)” – Concours de la Résistance, 30 March 2014
* “AMIENS Valentine Ligny a fêté ses 110 ans” – Courrier Picard, 22 October 2016
* “Dame de fer” – Amiens, 25 October 2017
* “Valentine, la doyenne des Amiénois a 113 ans” – France Bleu, 22 October 2019
* “Picardie : La supercentenaire d’Amiens et doyenne des Hauts-de-France est décédée” – Courrier Picard, 8 January 2022