‘She had a full life’ – daughter of 100-year-old Sunderland great-grandmother pays tribute to her following her death

The family of 100-year-old Nancy Rooks have paid tribute to the great-grandmother after she passed away.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 4:30 pm

Just three months after celebrating her 100th birthday on January 4, great-grandmother Nancy Rooks from Grindon sadly passed away on Wednesday, April 7.

To celebrate her birthday, Nancy’s daughters Brenda and Jean, along with her grandson Steve and great-granddaughter Daisy-Mai had isolated so they could spend a small amount of time with her.

Nancy was cremated on April 20 at Sunderland Crematorium and her daughter, Brenda Cunningham from Fatfield in Washington, has revealed that the last year had been difficult on her mum – who just wanted to go out for a Sunday lunch.

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Nancy Rooks on the 100th birthday on January 4.

The 67-year-old said: “She had a full life and her family was always the main thing to her as she loved spending time with them.

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"She would have family gatherings for any occasion or go out for lunch on a Sunday and I think that was the one part of the Covid pandemic that she struggled with most.

"I remember her describing it as worse than The Blitz because at least then you could still see friends and family.

Nancy and her husband Edward Rooks on their wedding day on July 6, 1946.

"We were looking forward to taking her out on April 12 once the restrictions had eased but we had a fitting send off for her despite the circumstances.”

Nancy married Edward Rooks following the end of the Second World War, with the couple going on to run two fish and chip shops – one of which was on Crowtree Road.

Brenda added: “She was just a teenager when the Second World War broke out and she went to Salford to work on building Lancaster Bombers.

From rear left: Nancy's daughter Brenda Cunningham, grandson Steve Cunningham, great-grand-daughter Daisy-Mai Cunningham and daughter Jean Thompson who all self-isolated to spend some time with Nancy on her 100th birthday.

"It was around this time that she met my dad and when we have been clearing out her belongings, we have found the very first letter that he had sent to her during the war.

"It was so lovely to see a different side to their relationship, we even managed to find their wedding photo.”

Nancy's family are saving her ashes until the summertime where they plan on going to the seafront to spread them before having some fish and chips – something the 100-year-old loved to do.

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Nancy, pictured with great-granddaughter Daisy-Mai, was devoted to her family right throughout her life.

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