THE niece of a centenarian, who died just six days after celebrating her 100th birthday, has paid tribute to her beloved aunt.
Cath Hibbard died of natural causes on Saturday after a sudden decline in her health following years of problems with her hearing and vision.
Cath’s niece, Pauline Brandon (75), said she had been shocked by her aunt’s sudden decline during her birthday party at the home on the previous Sunday at Edwinstowe’s Sherwood Grange Care Home.
“She had really, really gone downhill,” said Cath. “Matron said she was gradually fading away so we did expect it.
“It is just nice she lived to be 100.”
Cath was born in Derbyshire but moved to Mansfield Woodhouse with her family as a young girl.
After leaving school she went into service as a maid then married late husband Walter Sidney Hibbard at the age of 21 at Mansfield’s register office.
He worked as a miner until retirement and died in 2003, aged 93.
From the age of 21, Cath lived with ‘Sid’ on Ambleside, Ollerton, and continued working part-time at the Miners’ Welfare.
The couple were unable to have children but enjoyed many holidays together, including regular day trips with nearby Ambleside Club organised by Cath, who became club treasurer after retirement.
Cath, who had two sisters and a brother, had to stop helping out at the club after a fall in 1979 and was confined to a wheelchair thereafter.
Niece Pauline said: “She was always good to me and I loved going to see her .
“It would take me two hours to get there by bus from Ripley.
“She was a good cook and it was always nice having a dinner when you arrived.
“Her favourite was preparing dinner but she used to make nice cakes as well.”