Bay Area woman who was the oldest living in California dies at age 114

For years, she was a longtime, beloved fixture in her Berkeley Elmwood neighborhood and later became a celebrated resident at her senior care home in El Cerrito.

Mila Mangold, who held the title of California’s oldest person, died earlier this month at the age of 114. According to Gerontology Research Group, which verifies and tracks supercentenarians – defined as a person who is 110 years old or older – Mangold was also the second oldest in the country and the seventh-oldest person on the planet. 

The RN3 Loving Care Homes assisted living facility, where she was a resident, confirmed she died on July 2. 

In a KTVU story last December, the facility’s owner, Meinu Wu, described her most senior resident as a well-liked and "very nice woman" who had lived at the assisted care facility for more than five years. 

"She's very positive, and she has a strong will to live long. She knows what's happening around her, and she still can read," Wu shared.

GRG director Robert Young said that at the time of her death, Mangold, who was born in Nebraska on Nov. 14, 1907, was just a week younger than the oldest person in the U.S., identified as Bessie Hendricks of Iowa.  

Young, a historian who's also Guinness World Record lead consultant for gerontology, offered some insightful perspectives on Mangold's long life. 

Young noted that the year Mangold was born, Oklahoma became a state. 

She was only 4 years old when the Titanic sank in 1912, and she was 11 during another historic worldwide health outbreak-- the 1918 influenza pandemic.

KTVU shared her story last year, following celebrations for her 114th birthday. 

Mangold met her husband, Walter Mangold, in Southern California, where she worked as a secretary in a health department, according to Berkeleyside

The couple eventually moved to Berkeley in the 1940’s. 

Walter Mangold was a respected professor at UC Berkeley and a pioneer in the field of environmental health sciences. 

Mila Mangold lost her husband in 1978. 

She set deep roots in her Berkeley community. 

She enjoyed walking the Cal campus, and she was a longtime member of The Faculty Club at UC Berkeley. 

She also spent many years attending the nondenominational congregation, "The church in Berkeley."

Mangold’s passing placed another Northern California resident as the designated oldest in the state, according to GRG. 

Edie Ceccarelli of Willits in Mendocina County, who turned 114 in February, now has that title, as well as being noted as the second oldest person in the country and the seventh oldest in the world.

On Nov. 14, 2021, caretakers and residents RN3 Loving Care Homes in El Cerrito, Calif., celebrated the 114 birthday of Mila Mangold, then California's oldest living person.  (Meina Wu/RN3 Loving Care Homes)