Tributes to ‘spirited’ Wearside centenarian who died just 12 days before her 106th birthday

Tributes have been paid following the death of a colourful Wearside character aged 105.

By Tony Gillan
Saturday, 10 August, 2019, 16:45
Molly Turner with her card from the Queen on her 100th birthday.

Molly Turner passed away at the Woodridge Gardens care home on Oxclose Road on August 3. She loved her home and referred to the staff as “my girls.”

In recent years she featured in the Echo when she received a 100th birthday birthday card from the Queen, the same age at which she was chosen as the face of housing association Gentoo.

She was a huge fan of ITV quiz show The Chase and received a card from its star, Bradley Walsh, on her 104th birthday. That was also when she revealed to the Echo that whisky was one of the ingredients to a long life.

Molly received a card from her Bradley Walsh on her 104th birthday.

She was born Josephine Potter, but was always known as Molly, in Fatfield on August 15, 1913, when Herbert Asquith was Prime Minister and not long after the death of suffragette Emily Davison. She was adopted after her mother died when Molly was a baby.

She had four older brothers, one of whom, Joe Potter, was a professional footballer for Doncaster Rovers.

Aged 16 Molly began work in a hospital laundry near London where she met Harvey Turner, who she married in 1937.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Harvey was conscripted to fight in the Second World War, while Molly helped by becoming a welder in a munitions factory. After the war she worked for an electronics company.

The couple moved away, but she returned to the North East when she was widowed at the age of 60. She never had children of her own, but loved to spend time with her nieces.

She didn’t fly until her 70s, when she travelled on her own to Australia.

Molly’s great-niece, Sara Harker, said: “She had a hard life but a lucky one. In fact she was known as Lucky Molly. But we were the one who were lucky to have her.”

“Auntie Molly was always spirited and I think that’s why she had such a long life. She was very kind. She would always have sweets in her bag that she would share with taxi drivers and shopkeepers.

“She liked a whisky a day too and she loved being in the paper.”