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Jakarta Post

Oldest man alive survives as the angel forgets him

Fri, May 5, 2017   /   09:10 am
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    An official of the Sragen Population and Civil Registration Agency, Central Java, shows the e-ID of Sodimejo known as Mbah [grandpa] Jo Gotho on Sept. 8, 2016. The files record that Mbah Jo Gotho was born on Dec. 31, 1871. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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    A tombstone for Mbah Jo Gotho was bought in 1992. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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    Mbah Jo Gotho lies on his bed while listening to his radio at his house in Sragen, Central Java, in this Sept. 8, 2016, file photo. Even though he was already 146 years old, he could still hear clearly. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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    Sugiyem, 70, one of Mbah Jo Gotho's daughters, carries an empty plate and two glasses. Among Mbah Jo Gotho’s favorite dishes were tofu and anchovies. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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    Sugiyem gives a rice cracker to his father. Rice crackers were Mbah Jo Gotho's favorite snack. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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    Mbah Jo Gotho jokingly said: "The angels forgot to record me on their death list." JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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    Ice cream and iced tea were among his favorite drinks. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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    Sodimejo died on Sunday, April 30 at his house at around 6 p.m. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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    A mourner looks at Mbah Jo Gotho’s remains for the last time before the burial. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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    Mourners escort Mbah Jo Gotho’s body to a public cemetery in Cemeng, Sragen, Central Java. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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    Mourners carry Mbah Jo Gotho's coffin to the cemetery. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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]