Final send off for ‘amazing’ woman who became Britain’s oldest person

Grace Jones celebrates

Grace Jones celebrates - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to an ‘amazing’ and ‘positive’ former Sidmouth resident who lived to be Britain’s oldest person.

Grace Jones

Grace Jones - Credit: Archant

Grace Jones made national headlines with her landmark birthday in September, when she turned 112, and she put her secret down to a tot of whiskey and never having aches and pains.

Before her death on June 7, she enjoyed a two week holiday where she was seen participating in bowls and cooking classes.

Her daughter, Deidre McCarthy, said she has been extremely lucky to have had her mother close by and put that down to her positive approach to life.

Mrs McCarthy said; "She was 112 playing carpet bowls and winning. She is a piece of history gift wrapped. She got into the history books because she became the oldest person in Britain. Mother has reached out and touched many people's hearts. She was absolutely positive in things she did. Life was for living and she couldn't understand why people who were perfectly capable of doing things decided to sit around and mope."

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Mrs Jones was born in Liverpool on September 16 1906 and had hoped to pursue a career in the theatre. Instead, she started her own millinery business. She married her husband Leonard, a chief engineer, in 1933 and they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, living together until his death.

Mrs McCarthy said: "My father died in 1986 and I did worry on how she was going to keep going. They were a very devoted couple.

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"She almost seemed to blossom. She did not have an ache or pain in her body. She was called 'amazing Grace'.

"She was fit as a fiddle and kept her personality.

"I have been so lucky all my life that mother has been there. She had a very gentle approach and very caring. If mother was around everything would be alright."

Over the course of her long life she lived in 27 different homes, including Old Hayes in Sidmouth and had her own apartment in Broadway, Worcestershire, until February this year.

Her mother lived in Sidmouth for 12 years and was often seen walking and enjoying a coffee or afternoon tea at the Victoria Hotel.

She received nine cards from the Queen and often enjoyed a birthday tea at Buckland Manor.

Mrs Jones's funeral service was held on July 2.

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