A COVENTRY woman has spent the day surrounded by family as she celebrated her 100th birthday.
New centenarian Kathleen Grimes, née Wort, marked the landmark birthday with cake and her cherished card from the queen at The Haven Nursing Home in Ash Green.
Born as one of 13 children in Sussex on August 1, 1915, Kathleen has been an avid reader since childhood – with family members recalling to have never seen her without one of her beloved romance or historical novels in her hand.
On leaving school, Kathleen worked in services before marrying her husband Fred, who was a chauffeur in the army.
As Mr and Mrs Grimes the pair moved to Didcot in Oxfordshire and had sons Bill, Leslie, David, Peter and John – all while Kathleen juggled her work as a cook in a nearby girls school.
An avid bingo player and lover of puzzles of all kinds – from crosswords to jigsaws – Kathleen is happiest when she was busy and surrounded by her six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
When Fred sadly passed away 25 years ago, she moved to Nuneaton to be closer to her family before relocating to The Haven at the ripe age of 93.
Daughter-in-law Sue describes Kathleen as ‘quiet and reserved’ and said her children were her greatest achievement.
She added: “Kathleen always said she wanted to reach 100, so I would say it was her determination that has got her there.
“She is a lovely lady and always used to put on a posh voice when she answered the phone which has stuck with me and makes me smile every time I think about it.
“Kathleen loved cooking and was a great cake maker – her mince pies at Christmas in particular were exceptional.
“I still haven’t tasted any better – not even my own.”