A Sanctuary Care home resident in Droitwich has recently celebrated her milestone 100th birthday.
Surrounded by loved ones, Joan Dewdney celebrated her 100 years on Friday 24 March with a traditional tea party at Westmead Residential Care Home in Westmead Close, where she has lived since November 2014.
Secret is to stay active
When asked how it feels to reach 100, Joan said: “It’s amazing and very amusing – who would’ve thought it?”
Continuing by sharing her secret to reaching such a milestone age she said: “I’ve always been as active as I possibly can be, I’ve always walked everywhere – even in my nineties I would walk to the shops, I’ve never been lazy and I’ve always tried to eat freshly prepared food.”
Born and bred in London
Born in London on Saturday 24 March 1917, Joan grew up with her six siblings – her older brothers Fred, Jack, Harry and Ron, who were all born before the start of the First World War, and her younger sisters Daphne and Audrey who were born after the war – to parents Frederick, who worked as a railway porter in Clacton-on-Sea and Daisy Miller.
While growing up in Clacton, Joan had to leave school at the age of 14 as her mother sadly passed away and she had to focus on raising her two younger sisters.
Almost ten years later, the birthday girl met the love of her life when her paths crossed with John Robert Dewdney, who was taking photos on Clacton’s pier while working a summer job. The pair instantly hit it off and John asked Joan to marry him in 1940, when Joan was 23 years old – right before he was called to serve in the army in the borders regiment during the Second World War.
John returned in 1945 and the pair got married as soon as they could. Following the wedding, they set up their family home in Tynemouth, Northumberland, where John was originally from.
While living in the North East, John returned to work as a civil servant and Joan worked as a school cook for a children’s special needs school, where she worked while raising their two daughters – Diane, who lives in Stoulton, near Pershore and Claire, who lives near Machynlleth, Wales.
“Family has been and will be everything to me”
Reflecting on her life achievements, Joan continued: “Family has always been the most important part of my life and the centre of everything I have ever done – from waiting for John, who was my fiancé at the time, to return from prison camp to raising my sisters and two daughters.
“Family has been and will always be everything to me.”
Following John’s retirement, Joan became a warden at a sheltered housing in Denham, Buckinghamshire for a few years before retiring herself and the pair moved to Worcester to be nearer their daughters and their families.
Four generations on
The Dewdney family has now blossomed into four generations with three grandsons, Dominic, 48, Alistair, 34 and Benjamin, 31 and four great grandchildren, Louis, 12, Felix, 9, Bella, 7 and Noah, 4.
The Sanctuary Care home’s activities leader Sarah Eckley concluded: “Joan is so lovely and is very kind, she has the warmest smile. It was wonderful to celebrate such a milestone birthday with her loved ones.”