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Florrie Baldwin: Europe's oldest person dies UPDATED

She was the very epitome of a 'golden oldie'.

Florrie Baldwin, Europe's oldest person, has died in her Leeds care home just weeks after celebrating her 114th birthday.

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Her family confirmed the inspirational Pudsey lady, who has lived through 27 prime ministers and six monarchs, had passed away in her sleep at the weekend.

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Grandson David Worsnop, 64, said: "She just closed her eyes and slipped away in her sleep.

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"We are sad but looking back, she had enjoyed an extremely long life, she lived two lives really.

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"She was brilliant, a really nice lady. Her determination and strong will kept her going."

He added his abiding memory of his grandmother would be of her chasing him and his brother around the garden when they were mischievous youngsters.

Mrs Baldwin had celebrated her 114th birthday on March 31 with an 11th telegram from the Queen.

Speaking at the celebration, Maisie Worsnop, 89, her only child, said she was "very healthy" on the whole, had no aches and pains and didn't take any tablets.

However dementia had started to set in, and she had "seemed to be slipping away" in recent weeks Mr Worsnop said.

Florrie was born in Leeds in 1896, the same year the first modern Olympic games were held in Athens and the radio and dial telephone were first patented.

As a four-year-old, she came face to face with Queen Victoria at Leeds railway station during a royal visit.

She lived through the birth of the motor car, women winning the vote, both world wars and the birth of the NHS.

She married painter and decorator Clifford Baldwin in 1920, two years after the First World War, and they saved up 350 for their first home, which they shared for 60 years.

She worked full-time throughout her life until retirement at the age of 75, working first at a jewellery shop and then as a clerk for an engineering company for 30 years.

Mr Worsnop said his grandmother was fiercely independent with a strong work ethic, and she was still doing her own housework well past her 100th year.

"She always said hard work was the secret of her long and healthy life," he said earlier at her birthday celebration.

He said: "After she retired, they had to get three girls in to do her job. One day I found her standing on her polished sideboard changing the net curtains: she was 102 at the time."

Mrs Baldwin is survived by daughter Maisie, grandsons David and Marshall and several great and great great grandchildren.

She is thought to have been the fourth oldest person in the world and one of only a handful of British 'super-centenarians'.

 
 
 

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