Farewell to centenarian who had just celebrated her birthday
A resident of Stansted’s Mountfitchet House Care Home who celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this month has passed away.
Phyllis Hedges was taken ill just a week after she reached the milestone and died in hospital on January 22.
Her family said this week that they wanted to celebrate her life and remember the joyful day they had spent on her birthday. Her centenarian status was marked with an afternoon tea and champagne when Phyllis was presented with her official telegram from the Queen.
At the time, Phyllis said her secret to living to 100 was: “Very simple. Keeping a sense of humour is key, and so is a glass of bubbly every now and again!”
Ellie Kemp, deputy home manager at Mountfitchet House, said: “We always like to make an occasion of birthdays and Phyllis’ 100th was no exception. She has made many friends here, all of whom enjoyed celebrating with her.
"She was a truly wonderful lady who was loved by everyone at Mountfitchet House. We will all miss her so much and her family and friends are in our thoughts.”
Phyllis, who was one of three children, was born in Fareham in 1920 to Eddie and Beattie Hayward. Leaving school at 14, she worked in a sewing room, before joining the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and moving to Calshott during the Second World War.
When the war was over, Phyllis returned home where she met her husband, Steve, an officer in the Royal Navy. Soon after marrying, the couple were posted to Malta, where they lived for two years before returning to England. She has a daughter, Julia, and two grandsons, Andrew and Edward.
She moved to Mountfitchet House four years ago. "Enjoying the entertainment, and her favourite tea of ‘ham sandwiches on white bread’, she spent her final years surrounded by her friends, relatives and the Mountfitchet House family," said a spokeswoman.