Joy Wilmot, who was born in Plymouth in 1918, celebrated her 100th birthday on 13th August at Ashbourne Lodge Care Home, part of the Milford Care Group.
Making use of the grand ballroom at Ashbourne Lodge, 25 of Joy’s close family and friends held a special party for her 100th birthday at the home on Saturday.
Residents and staff got together on the day to toast the achievement over cake at tea time but the big celebrations had already taken place at the weekend.
Activity co-ordinator Stacy Sandham said, “It was lovely to welcome all of Joy’s friends to Ashbourne Lodge and be able to help make her special day memorable. The kitchen here prepared the food and I decorated the room with balloons.”
“Joy has lived with us for two and a half years and is always in good spirits, so it was great to treat her.”
Joy spent the day reminiscing about her past and her husband, Pierre, a Frenchman that she met during the war. Joy and Pierre married in 1941 and had two children, Vivian and Jennifer. After many happy years in Plymouth, the couple moved to Wolverhampton for Pierre’s job shortly before their second daughter was born.
“He was a lovely man, we married quickly – too quickly for these days it would have been frowned upon now, but we loved each other, it was all above board and it lasted.”
Sadly Pierre passed away five years ago but Joy has many treasured memories of him.
“I remember I finished work early one day and went to Plymouth seafront to meet my neighbour to walk home with.” mused Joy.
“She wasn’t there so I took a seat. I remember seeing a tall man – and he was tall, 6’2” in fact – walking up the hill, navy uniform flapping in the wind. When he got to the top, he looked around and very politely asked if he could sit with me.”
“After that, he walked me the two miles home and said he would very much like to see me again, to which I agreed, and the rest is history!”
Before having children, Joy was a stenographer for the Ministry of Defence. She then went on to volunteer in hospitals, delivering meals and drinks around the wards.
Joy now has four grandchildren – three boys and a girl and seven great-grandchildren – six boys and one girl who often visit her at Ashbourne Lodge.
“I do like it here.” said Joy, “I chose to live at Ashbourne Lodge because I wanted to stay in the Midlands and here you have the fields and the countryside – I like the fresh air, nothing too commercial!
“The staff look after me well and like to have a good laugh – although I sometimes have to remind them who’s older and wiser!”
“We never thought that Joy would ever get to be 100.” explained Vivian and Jennifer, Joy’s daughters, “We really believe that it is because of the exceptional care and support she receives from all of the staff at Ashbourne Lodge. Something for which we are deeply grateful.”