Budleigh woman celebrates 101st birthday

AN ACTIVE birthday girl had no sooner celebrated her 101st birthday than she was back on her usual mix of social activities around a Budleigh Salterton care home.

Kathleen Gooding, who lives in Shandford Residential home, in Station Road, marked her milestone birthday last week.

A party was held which was attended by residents, the mayor of Budleigh Salterton and a number of her relatives.

Susan Bissett, manager of the home, said: “She thoroughly enjoyed the party. Kathleen is a lovely person to care for and have here.

“She is very active for her age and takes part in just about all of our activities that we put on such as yoga and quizzes.”

Kathleen, a great grandmother, has lived in Budleigh Salterton all her life and used to be a housewife. Earlier in her life she used to be a keen traveller and has travelled to an array of foreign countries.

Refusing to let age get the better of her, when she was in her 90s, she bought an electric scooter to get out and about, meeting friends.

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Over the years, Kathleen Gooding, nee Tidwell, was involved with many Budleigh organisations.

In her time, she has also given her support to St Peter’s Primary School PTA, served tea at half-time with Budleigh Salterton Football Club’s ladies’ committee and was a member of the town’s WI until the group folded.

Educated in Budleigh Salterton, Kathleen left the town aged 18 with her best friend, Florry, from Knowle, and headed to London to work.

On her return to Budleigh, she married Ted, and the couple went on to have three daughters and a son.

When in 1941 a bomb fell a few doors away from their home, killing many of their neighbours, the family was forced to move from Meadow Road to a cottage between Yettington and Colaton Raleigh – returning home in 1945.

During her long life, Kathleen faced personal tragedy when one of her daughters died aged 26.

Some 26 years ago, she and her much-loved husband were due to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Ted, however, died and Kathleen was widowed.

And, in 2005 she was ‘greatly affected’ when one of her granddaughters died.