Petra Høgetveit was Norway’s oldest living person until her death over the weekend at a nursing home in her native Brumunddal. “It feels a bit strange,” her 86-year-old son Sveinung told state broadcaster NRK, “but she was clear in her mind until the end.”
Høgetveit ran a small farm and the wool producer Brumunddal ullvarefabrikk, which her son still oeprates. She was also a fixture at the antique market held inside the Viking Ship arena in Hamar, and had intended to spend her 110th birthday there on April 3, until the Corona virus crisis changed everyone’s plans. Her family had to resort to waving flags and cheering from outside the nursing home, while she ate cake and waved through the window.
Gudrun Nymoen has now taken over as Norway’s oldest resident. She turned 109 last fall and was hailed by the mayor of Åmot in the eastern valley of Østerdalen on her birthday on October 26. She’s the only survivor of nine children who grew up as poor tenant farmers at a marked social distance from the “fine folks” in the farm’s main house.
“I don’t think I ever dreamed about anything more than getting a job as housekeeper in a fine home,” she told NRK on her 100th birthday in 2010. “The most important thing was that the children were well.”