MONROE, Ga. -- The woman who was listed as the world's oldest person died Tuesday in a Georgia nursing home at age 116.

Besse Cooper died peacefully Tuesday afternoon in Monroe, according to her son Sidney Cooper. Monroe is about 45 miles east of Atlanta.

Cooper said his mother had been ill recently with a stomach virus, then felt better on Monday. On Tuesday he said she had her hair set and watched a Christmas video, but later had trouble breathing. She was put on oxygen in her room and died there about 2 p.m., Cooper said.

"With her hair fixed it looked like she was ready to go," he said.

Besse Cooper was declared the world's oldest person in January 2011. In May 2011, Guinness World Records learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Valentin died the next month.

"It's a sad day for me," said Robert Young, Guinness senior consultant for gerontology. He recalls meeting Cooper when she was 111 and took note of her mental agility.

"At that age she was doing really well, she was able to read books," he said.

Last year on Cooper's 115th birthday, she celebrated with friends and relatives, enjoyed two small slivers of birthday cake and was serenaded by a musician from Nashville who sang "Tennessee Waltz."

Sidney Cooper said his family will likely hold a funeral for his mother later this week.

Besse Cooper was the first Georgian to hold the world record. She was born in Tennessee and moved to Georgia during World War I to look for work as a teacher.

The title of world's oldest person now belongs to 115-year-old Dina Manfredini, of Johnston, Iowa, Young said. The oldest known person of all time was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who lived to be 122 years old and died in 1997.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Heaviest Living Athlete

    The heaviest living athlete in the world is sumo wrestler Emmanuel 'Manny' Yarborough, of Rahway, New Jersey. He stands 6ft 8in tall and weighs a colossal 704lb. He was introduced to the sport by his judo coach and seven years later, he is ranked number one in the Open Sumo Wrestling Category for Amateurs.

  • Farthest Throw of a Person

    Jonathan Macfarlane (New Zealand) threw Andrew Rainford a distance of 4.87 meters (15 ft 11 in) on the set of NZ Smashes Guinness World Records at the Sylvia Park shopping mall in Auckland, New Zealand, on July 25, 2009.

  • Most Passes of a Giant Volleyball

    The most consecutive passes of a giant volleyball is 582 and was set by Vanessa Sheridan and Paddy Bunce (both from the United Kingdom) during Capital Breakfast with Johnny Vaughan, Capital Radio, London, UK on November 9, 2006 as part of Guinness World Records Day.

  • Fastest Mile on Spring Loaded Stilts

    The fastest mile covered on spring loaded stilts is 7 min 13 sec set by Ashrita Furman (USA) at the TSV 1865 Dachau Sports Club in Dachau, Germany, on March 30, 2008.

  • Longest Beach Volleyball Marathon

    The longest beach volleyball marathon lasted 25 hr 39 min achieved by Mateusz Baca, Sebastian Lüdke, Tomasz Olszak, and Wojciech Kurczyński (all Germans) in Görlitz, Germany, on July 3-4, 2010. The attempt was made at the Rosenhof sports and leisure center by the four members of sports club VfB Görlitz.

  • Longest Professional Wrestling Match

    The longest professional wrestling match lasted 12 hours and was promoted by Shockwave Impact Wrestling as the Ultimate Iron Man Match at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Sidney, Ohio. on November 6, 2010. The match was contested by American Kickboxer II aka Brandon Overholser, Dark Angel aka Mike White, DJ Tom Sharp aka Tom Crone, Logan Cross aka Logan Jones, Sid Fabulous aka Mark Easterday, and "Lightning" Tim Lutz.

  • Longest Time Controlling A Soccer Ball While Lying Down

    The record for the longest time controlling a soccer ball whilst lying down is 10 min and 4 sec and was achieved by Tomas Lundman (Sweden) at the Nordstan Shopping Mall, in Gothenburg, Sweden on November 24, 2007.

  • Most Items Kicked Off Heads In One Minute

    The most items kicked off people's heads in one minute is 43 and was achieved by Zara Phythian (UK) on the set of Guinness World Records Smashed, at Pinewood Studios, UK, on March 25, 2009.