Bernice Madigan

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Bernice Madigan
File:Bernice Madigan (2013).png
Bernice Madigan on Derby Day, 2013
Born Bernice Emerson[1]
July 24, 1899[2]
West Springfield, Massachusetts
Died January 3, 2015
(aged 115 years, 163 days)
Cheshire, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Ethnicity Caucasian
Title Oldest living resident of Massachusetts
Spouse(s) Paul Madigan[3] (1896–1976)
(m. 1925–1976; his death)[1][4]
Parent(s) Harry and Grace (Bennett) Emerson[5]

Bernice Madigan (July 24, 1899 – January 3, 2015) was an American supercentenarian who was the oldest living resident of Massachusetts,[6] the fourth-oldest living person in the United States,[7] and the world's fifth-oldest living person before her death.[7] She is one of 100 centenarians in The Archon Genomics XPRIZE.[8][9]


Bernice Emerson was born on July 24, 1899 in West Springfield, Massachusetts.[2][10] When she was 6, she moved to Cheshire, where she later died. She graduated from Adams High School in 1918, and thereafter moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a secretary for the Veterans Administration, then the Treasury Department.

A lifelong Republican, she attended the Inauguration of Warren G. Harding in 1921, and cited Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan as her favorite U.S. Presidents. "Reagan accomplished more for the government. Eisenhower I thought was very good in some ways in the White House. I liked them both very much." Madigan met her husband, Paul, in Washington, and they were married 51 years. Paul died in 1976. She has outlived a brother, Roy Emerson, and a sister, Marilyn Emerson Martin. She returned to Cheshire from Silver Spring, Maryland in 2007.

Madigan did not take any medicine nor a daily vitamin.[11] Madigan died at the age of 115 years, 163 days in her sleep at 2 a.m. on January 3, 2015.[10] At the time of her death, she was the 21st verified oldest person in recorded history.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State's oldest woman turns 113". North Adams Transcript.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Oldest Validated Living Supercentenarians". Gerontology Research Group. Retrieved December 20, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Paul Madigan, "United States Social Security Death Index"". Family Search.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Bernice M Emerson, "District of Columbia Marriages, 1811–1950"". Family Search.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Harry G. Emerson in entry for Bernice M. Emerson, "Massachusetts, Births, 1841–1915"". Family Search.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Cheshire Woman 16th Oldest in the World
  7. 7.0 7.1 Cheshire Woman Is Fourth Oldest in the World
  8. "Bernice Madigan Centenarian Profile". Archon Genomics. Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Ansberry, Clare. "Contestants Race to Map DNA of 100 Centenarians". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 13, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 State's Oldest Citizen Dies, (January 3, 2015)
  11. "At 110, Bay State's oldest resident is a marvel of longevity". The Boston Globe. July 24, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>