Oldest Canadian Elizabeth Buhler, RIP

By Charlotte Bumstead
Manitoba resident Elizabeth Buhler—believed to be Canada’s oldest living person—passed away at a nursing home on Sunday, just two weeks shy of her 112th birthday. Numerous family members were able to join Buhler at her bedside in Winkler, Man. before she died.

Buhler was born in Ukraine on Feb. 8, 1899. Her birth year was shared with many recognizable people, such as Al Capone (d. 1947), E.B. White (d. 1985), Ernest Hemingway (d. 1961), Alfred Hitchcock (d. 1980) and Humphrey Bogart (d. 1957). When Buhler was born, Queen Victoria ruled England, the Boer War erupted and the Montreal Shamrocks beat the Winnipeg Victorias for the Stanley Cup. This was the year of obtaining a patent for such inventions as the motor-driven vacuum cleaner, the bicycle frame, Aspirin and the paperclip.

Buhler was married to her husband for 43 years before he died at the age of 69. Together, the couple raised a son and five daughters on the family farm south of Winkler.

Buhler’s 74-year-old daughter, Justina Suderman says her mother emigrated to Canada in 1926. Suderman describes her mother to have maintained a positive attitude, despite enduring hard times in the former Russian empire and farming during the Great Depression. Suderman says Buhler’s religious faith and regular exercise were the keys to her longevity. Though she also says her mother ate whatever she wanted and was fond of cooking with lard.

Buhler’s family explains it is because of the destruction of all birth records during the years Josef Stalin was leader of the Soviet Union, that her age cannot be verified.