Singapore’s oldest person, social worker, founder of welfare service Heart to Heart, non-profit organisation Home for the Aged Sick and Singapore’s “Mother Teresa”; Teresa Hsu has passed away aged 113.

Social worker and founder of many welfare services, Teresa Hsu, has died at the age of 113
Ms Hsu attended the Her World Woman of the Year 50th Anniversary Gala Event in 2010. Image: Her World magazine

The winner of the Her World Woman of the Year Special Award in 1999, Ms Hsu was described as having devoted over 50 years to community work in Singapore, caring for the sick, aged and destitute.

“Still sprightly, she leads a simple lifestyle – eating one vegetarian meal a day, meditating, practising yoga and laughing often,” wrote the Her World team in the magazine’s Woman Of the Year 20th Anniversary booklet.

Born in Shantou, China in 1898, Ms Hsu arrived in Singapore in 1961. Working as a nurse she helped many and continued her good work after retirement, establishing the Heart to Heart Service and the Home for the Aged Sick. She was also named Active Senior Citizen Of The Year in 2003 and earned the Public Star in 2009.

Ms Hsu passed away peacefully at her home on December 7 and was cremated the same day. Always unassuming, Ms Hsu asked that no announcement be made of her death.

A notice posted on the Heart to Heart Service website requested that “no rituals or ceremonies be performed, to avoid disturbance and inconvenience to others”.

Sharana Rao, 62, Ms Hsu’s adopted son and caregiver, said in the same note: “I have duly carried out her instructions, and respected her wishes. It is hoped that all friends, supporters, donors, volunteers and well-wishers respect her wishes too, so that she can rest in peace.”