Isobel Varley, recognized by Guinness World Records as the female senior citizen with the most tattoos, has died at the age of 77.
Varley died Monday after a long battle against Alzheimer’s disease, the Telegraph reports.
Varley got her first tattoo in 1986 at the age of 49 — a small bird — and quickly got the itch for more.
“I went to a tattoo convention and had one tattoo — and then it just went from there,” she told the BBC in 2008. “This came about as I was so impressed by the sheer beauty of the tattoos and I found that the people there were ordinary people from all walks of life and were not strange.”
Eventually, Varley had more than 200 tattoos, covering 93 percent of her body, everything except her face and ears, the soles of her feet, and some parts of her hands, Guinness World Records reports.
Guinness World Records officially declared Varley the female senior citizen with the most tattoos in 2009. She also had 50 piercings.
Although Varley spent most of her life as a waitress, she began to get worldwide attention in the mid-1990s. Her son, Steve, said she loved seeing her ink up in lights. “She never had a problem with being in the limelight. She loved talking to people and adored travelling around the world,” Steve Varley told TheComet.net.
Varley’s husband of 55 years, Malcolm, said his wife will be remembered for more than her tats. “If you look on Facebook, I understand someone says she was a legend of tattooing, that’s how people will remember her, others will remember her because of her laugh,” he told the Hertfordshire Mercury. “In fact one guy approached her and said ‘Can I use your laugh as a phone ring tone?'”