She worked as a governess in Paris – a period she once called the happiest time of her life – for the children of wealthy families.
She converted to Catholicism and was baptized at the age of 26.
Driven by a desire to “move on”, she joined the Order of Nuns of the Daughters of Charity at the relatively late age of 41.
Sister Andre was then assigned to a hospital in Vichy, where she worked for 31 years.
In later life she moved to Toulon along the Mediterranean coast.
Her days at the nursing home were punctuated by prayer, meals, and visits from residents and hospice workers.
She also received a steady stream of letters, almost all of which she answered.
In 2021, she survived contracting Covid-19, which infected 81 residents of her nursing home.
‘Work kept me alive’
Randon told reporters last year that her work and caring for others had kept her spry.
“People say work kills, for me work kept me alive. I kept working until I was 108,” she told reporters in the home’s tearoom in April last year.
Although she was blind and dependent on a wheelchair, she always took care of other elderly people much younger than herself.
“People should help each other and love each other instead of hating each other. If we all shared that, it would be a lot better,” she said at the same meeting with journalists.
But the Catholic nun had declined requests for hair locks or TBEN samples, saying “only the good God” knows the secret to her longevity.
It is likely that France’s new oldest person is now 112-year-old Marie-Rose Tessier, a woman from the Vendee, longevity expert Laurent Toussaint told TBEN.
But Toussaint warned that it was always possible that an even older person had not yet reported.
Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 in Arles, southern France, at the age of 122, holds the record for the oldest confirmed age reached by a human.