Sodimejo “Mbah [grandpa] Jo” Gotho passed away on April 30. On his e-ID card, it was written that he was born on Dec. 31, 1870, although the Sragen Population and Civil Registration Agency did not have any documentation on his birth as the oldest data is only from the 1950s.
Mbah Jo Gotho’s story as a witness of the development of the sugar mill in Sragen became the basis of his age. He was reported to be the oldest man in the world as he claimed he was 146 years old.
“Simbah [grandpa] was the oldest man in the world,” claimed Suryanto, Mbah Jo Gotho’s grandson from his fourth wife.
Suryanto said a team of doctors from the US conducted a DNA test on his grandfather. “We needed to wait for six weeks to get the result on the exact age of simbah,” he added.
According to Suryanto, Mbah Jo Gotho always drank jamu (herbal medicine) made of boiled papaya leaves. While his diet comprised tofu, anchovies and sweetened iced tea.
“If you owe something, you must pay it back. You must remember while living,” he said when The Jakarta Post visited his house in early September 2016.
But when he was asked how he could have lived so long, Mbah Jo Gotho jokingly said: “I haven’t died because the angels forgot to record me on their death list.”
Twenty-four years ago he prepared his tomb for his burial.
On Sunday, April 30, Jo Gotho finally passed away. He is survived by five children from four wives – who predeceased him, 25 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
Rest in Peace Mbah Jo Gotho. The angels did not forget you. [yan]