September 13, 1901 – July 5, 2013.
James Foster McCoubrey, a native of St. John’s, Newfoundland and a resident of Walnut Creek in the latter years of his long life, died July 5 of complications resulting from pneumonia, his family and caregivers said. Mr. McCoubrey was at the time of his death California’s – and the world’s – oldest resident.
He was 111 years and 295 days young.
Mr. McCoubrey had been considered the oldest man in the world since June 12, when a Japanese man who had held the distinction passed on. Mr. McCoubrey, who lied about his age in an aborted attempt to get into the fighting of World War I, attributed his longevity to “good genes” and his interest in new things, particularly technology and the Internet. His daughter, Patricia Salveson of Walnut Creek, told reporters her father liked to prowl Internet chat rooms for seniors – assuming a playful stance with participants and telling people he was a mere 65.
Mr. McCoubrey spent his working life in the insurance business and operated a heating oil business in Massachusetts. He moved to Walnut Creek in 1992 after the death of his wife, Rose, to live with his daughter and son-in-law; he and Rose had been married 69 years.
He became a “supercentenarian,” his age verified by the Gerontology Research Group, at 110. Upon the death of the previous oldest man in the world in Japan on June 12, McCoubrey was the oldest man in the world whose documentation had been verified by the group.