Aleksandra Dranka

POLAND supercentenarian data

  • Full name: Aleksandra Dranka (nee Pięta)
  • Lifespan: (03.10.1903 – 29.04.2014)
  • Age: 110 years, 208 days
  • Birthplace: Harklowa, Austria-Hungary (now Harklowa, Skołyszyn Municipality, Jasło County, Subcarpathia, Poland)
  • Last residence: Harklowa, Skołyszyn Municipality, Jasło County, Subcarpathia, Poland
  • Application date: 15.10.2013
  • Validation date: 14.02.2014
  • Validation source: Waclaw Jan Kroczek/Krystyna Dziedzic/Piotr Dziedzic

Biography

Aleksandra Dranka was born in the village of Harklowa, Austria-Hungary (now Harklowa, Skołyszyn Municipality, Jasło County, Subcarpathia Voivodeship, Poland), on 3 October 1903, as a daughter of Antoni and Maria Pięta née Kula. She emigrated to the United States with her parents in February 1905 (seven years before 1912 Titanic cruise), where they opened a restaurant in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA. After Aleksandra survived a shooting at the restaurant and a kidnapping in the port of New York her family decided to return to Poland in 1908, where she helped her parents run a farm. In Poland, Aleksandra survived the times of World War I and World War II. Her life’s hobby was sewing. For years, she has been making wedding dresses for brides of her region. In 1928 Aleksandra married Michał Dranka (1904-1991). They were married for 63 years. She gave birth to two children: daughter Krystyna Dziedzic (b. 1930) and son Jan Dranka (b. 1937). She had three grandchildren and four great grandchildren. One of her brothers, Teofil Pięta (1913-2013), lived to the age of 100.

After completing 105 years, Aleksandra Dranka began to receive considerable media interest. She celebrated her 110th birthday on 3 October 2013, as the second person in the history of Subcarpathia Voivodeship. On that occasion she was given wishes from the President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski, as well as from the Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk. At the time, several people claimed an even higher age; however, the research conducted by the Gerontology Research Group in Poland in 2013-2014 confirmed Aleksandra Dranka’s status as Doyenne of Poland.

One month after her 110th birthday, on November 7, 2013, Aleksandra Dranka was visited by GRG-Poland Correspondent Waclaw Jan Kroczek who recognized her as the oldest living person in Poland and was responsible for the performance of her age validation process with close cooperation with her fammily members.

On 14 February 2014, her age was validated by the Gerontology Research Group thus making her the first ever confirmed supercentenarian in Poland. In the light of the current knowledge, Aleksandra Dranka was the last surviving person in Poland born in 1903, having outlived all citizens of Poland born in 1904 as well.

Aleksandra Dranka passed away on 29 April 2014 at age 110 years, 208 days, as the oldest person in Poland and one of the oldest people in Europe.

Aleksandra Dranka became the Doyenne of Poland following the death of 109-year old Marianna Mróz of Marszałki, Greater Poland Voivodeship on 18.05.2013. She was succeeded as the oldest living person in Poland by 109-year old Józefa Bąk of Kielce, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, born 04.02.1905.

Longevity recognition

  • Oldest living person in Subcarpathia Voivodeship (12.05.2009 – 29.04.2014)
  • Doyenne of Poland (18.05.2013 – 29.04.2014)

Validation

The supercentenarian case of Aleksandra Dranka was verified by Waclaw Jan Kroczek, GRG Correspondent for Poland and Nordic Countries, Krystyna Dziedzic and Piotr Dziedzic, in close cooperation with members of the Dranka family, and validated by the GRG on 13 February 2014.

 

Aleksandra Dranka on her 110th birthday.

Aleksandra Dranka (aged 5) with her younger siblings in 1908.

Aleksandra Dranka, aged 25, and her husband Michał Dranka on their wedding day in 1928.

Aleksandra Dranka, aged 33, with her husband Michał Dranka and daughter Krystyna. (1936)

Aleksandra Dranka, aged 55, with her husband Michał Dranka, son Jan Dranka, daughter Krystyna Dziedzic, her husband, and grandson Piotr Dziedzic. (1958).

Aleksandra Dranka, aged 107, in 2010.

Aleksandra Dranka, aged 110, her daughter Krystyna Dziedzic and grandson Piotr Dziedzic during Wacław Jan Kroczek’s visit in November 2013.

Photo courtesy of the Dranka family, and the Gerontology Research Group.

Wacław Jan Kroczek’s archive

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