Oldest Icelander Turns 107 Skip to content

Oldest Icelander Turns 107

Jóhannes Ólafur Markússon turned 107 today and is the oldest living person of Icelandic descent. Markússon was born in Canada in 1901. Most of his life, he worked as a farmer and fisherman on the farm Fagurhóll in Árnes, north of Gimli.

In 1981, Markússon moved to Gimli and he currently resides in Betel, a community for senior citizens. Despite his high age, Magnússon is in good physical and mental shape although is tied to a wheelchair and is losing his hearing, Morgunbladid reports.

Markússon visits his relatives once a week. On Saturday, he celebrated his 107th birthday with his three children, their children and grandchildren who all live in Gimli. Markússon’s wife, Emilia Ingibjörg Markússon, passed away in 2001 at the age of 94.

Markússon speaks perfect Icelandic, “But there are so few people to talk with in that language,” he said.

Markússon attributes his longevity to hard work. When he first began working as a fisherman, dogs were used to pull sledges out to the frozen Lake Winnipeg and later horses. His four siblings also reached a high age, 105, 92, 96 and 101.

Markússon’s parents, Gudmundur Markússon Jónsson and Ingibjörg Sigrídur Finnsdóttir, migrated from Iceland to Canada separately, in 1860 and 1891. His father died in an accident in 1910 and his mother passed away in 1951.

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