A FAMILY have paid tribute to a beloved great-grandmother who passed away at the remarkable age of 102.
Irene Feather passed away peacefully at the Dunollie Nursing Home on August 22, and her family have spoken warmly about the “feisty and determined” centurion.
Her daughter-in-law, Christine Fletcher, said: “She was loved by everybody, simply because she was just a lovely woman.”
Born in Bradford in 1909, Mrs Feather had what was described as an “incredibly hard upbringing”.
Her father went off to fight in the First World War and never returned, leaving her mother with the unenviable task of raising a young family without a breadwinner.
However, despite the cruel hand that she had been dealt at an early age, she still gained a place in secondary school, a rarity for girls at that time.
After leaving school, she worked as a weaver before meeting her husband, Bob. They moved to Scarborough and married shortly before the outbreak of World War Two, in which her new husband served in the RAF.
Thankfully for Irene, she didn’t suffer the same anguish as her mother, and Bob returned safely from the war to his family, which by now included a son, Peter.
Two more children followed for the couple, Robert and Judy. And it was caring for middle child Robert, who was born with Down’s Syndrome, that would prove to be the most rewarding, and defining, challenge of Irene’s life.
Christine said: “Robert was her world.
“Back then, there wasn’t the understanding or the facilities to care for children with Down’s Syndrome like there is today.
“But she loved him, and had a firm but fair way of dealing with him. He died aged 59, and I think his long life is a testament to her love in raising him.”
The couple had travelled after the war, living in various places all over the country, before moving back to Scarborough and settling in the town.
They raised their family in the town, a family which grew and grew over the years. The couple had five grandchildren and nine great grandsons, a fact that Irene was incredibly proud of.
After Bob died in 1984, she filled her time with crossword puzzles and trips to the library, journeys she was still making until earlier this year.
Her funeral takes place tomorrow at 1.30pm at Woodlands Crematorium.