The unofficial oldest man in the world has passed away months after his birthday and his quest to get his hands on cigarettes that were banned in his country as a result of lockdown.
116-year-old Fredie Blom from South Africa was allegedly born on May 8, 1904. As the centenarian revealed on his most recent birthday, he “lived this long because of God’s grace.”
In 1918, when Fredie was 14 years old, his sister allegedly succumbed to the Spanish Flu, whereas he recalled being forced to sleep on a haystack outside his home to reduce his chances of contracting the killer disease.
Throughout his life, Blom spent decades working on farms around the capital. Eventually, he also met the love of his life, now-86-year-old Jeanette, whom he’s been married to for nearly 50 years.
For his 116th birthday party, the centenarian was greeted by his close family members and neighbors in a drive-by celebration.
At the time, Fredie also opened up about his biggest lockdown concern and revealed he was struggling to get cigarettes due to the country’s ban on alcohol and tobacco products amid the pandemic.
Following months after his 116th birthday, Fredie’s time finally came as the “strong man” his family knew shrunk “to a small person.”
“Two weeks ago oupa (grandfather) was still chopping wood. He was a strong man, full of pride,” Andre Naidoo said in an interview with AFP. As the grandchild added, Fredie’s condition quickly deteriorated and he shrunk “from a big man to a small person” in just a matter of days.
As the centenarian’s wife previously revealed, the stubborn husband stopped going to the doctor years ago because he was tired of examinations and all the prodding they come with.
According to Fredie, it was up to “the boss upstairs” to decide when his time’s up.
“It’s the boss upstairs who decided that my time isn’t up yet. I smoke my tobacco. I don’t go to the doctor. All I drink is an Eno and a Disprin tablet every day. And I am fine,” the 116-year-old previously said.
May he rest in peace.