Born on a doorstep in 1914, 100 years on a determined grandmother of 26 celebrates her centenary this week.
On Sunday (6 July) Beatie Johnson will celebrate her milestone birthday at Sanctuary Care’s The Beeches Residential Care Home in Northfield.
She will enjoy a vintage party surrounded by her family and the home will be dressed with life-size cardboard cut outs of the royal family, whom Beatie adores.
After being born on the doorstep of her parents’ home after her mother Alice unexpectedly went into labour, Beatie had a tough childhood - her mother had tuberculosis and spent a lot of time in hospital and died when she was nine.
Beatie and younger sister Nellie were brought up by different sets of grandparents.
In May 1940 she wed Geoff Obrey and the couple lived in Selly Oak, where during the war they survived a bomb blast on their home.
Six months later Geoff was called up for army service, spending years away from the family serving in India and the Far East.
Sadly the couple’s second son Clive was born prematurely in 1944 and died at just four days old.
After Geoff died in 1979, Beatie found happiness again, marrying childhood friend Leslie Johnson and gaining stepson Roy.
Describing his mother and childhood, son David said: “I went everywhere with her and we were very close. She was very, very protective and I couldn’t have asked for a mother that was more caring and loving.”
Beatie puts the secret to her longevity down to her “faith and principal, hard work and good English food.”
Manager of the home, which provides residential care and dementia care, Bryan O’Connor said: “Beatie is a lovely lady who has had a very interesting life and it has been an absolute pleasure organising her birthday party for her.”