Not many people get to celebrate their ninetieth birthday. More and more, though, old age is becoming the norm in Iceland. Roughly 32 percent of women and 20 percent of men can expect to live more than 90 years, according to Statistics Iceland.
Stella and her grandson Gunnar three years ago. Photo: RÚV.
One Icelander, Stella Stefánsdóttir in Akureyri, turns 90 today. That would not be newsworthy in itself, but she has more living descendants than any other living Icelander. In November she will have a total of 190 living descendants.
Stella has 14 children, 52 grandchildren, 106 great grandchildren and 17 great-great grandchildren. In daily Morgunblaðið today Stella says: “This is of course wonderful, and they are all good people. I think what this world needs is some good and communality in people.”
Stella has always lived in Akureyri and still lives by herself. “Someone comes around every day. My children often invite me for supper, but other than that I try to manage on my own,” she said.
Stella's grandson, Gunnar Konráðsson, made a documentary about Stella three years ago with the aim of documenting her life for her descendants.