A dedicated St Ives parishioner and loving grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday before sadly passing away over a week later.
Kathleen celebrated the milestone birthday with her family and friends in October. She was the second parishioner to celebrate a 100th birthday from the Sacred Heart Church in recent weeks.
“Mum was in great form on the day, still with a good sense of humour and singing along to happy birthday and other songs,” her son, Keith, said.
Sadly, she fell gravely ill three days later and passed away at home nine days after her birthday.
Kathleen was born in Yorkshire, the eldest of three daughters.
The family moved to Kent just before the Second World War where she began work as a wages clerk.
Due to being in the bombing path of the Luftwaffe the company relocated near Oxford.
“This was the first time that mum had been away from home and she had a great time, especially attending RAF dances at Boar’s Hill Aerodrome,” Keith added.
She had several romances but fell in love with Donald who was a navigator in the Merchant Navy.
The couple married in 1947.
Kathleen and Donald have two sons, Keith and Paul, and two grandchildren, Olivia and Thomas.
They retired to St Ives in 1985, particularly liking the peaceful riverside nature of the town and often went on long walks in the area.
The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1997.
Donald was an active member of the Merchant Navy Association before passing away in 2005.
Kathleen remained in the family home, supported by her sons and carers, and was still attending mass at church right up to the first lockdown.
Like many elderly people during the isolation of lockdown, Kathleen’s health declined and she was admitted to hospital in June.
She was in and out of hospital and a temporary placement in a care home, but she was delighted to come back home four days before her 100th birthday.
Kathleen’s funeral takes place at 11.30am on Tuesday November 17 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
During Kathleen’s last days, she was well supported by her sons, carers, district nurses and the Arthur Rank Hospice at Home charity.