Sad farewell to 106-year-old Sunderland gran

TRIBUTES PAID: Phyllis Wake, who has died at the age of 106.
TRIBUTES PAID: Phyllis Wake, who has died at the age of 106.
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ONE of Wearside’s oldest residents who remained fiercely independent has died at the age of 106.

Phyllis Wake marked her 100th birthday with a shopping trip to Newcastle and just days after her last birthday took part in a beauty pageant for older people.

The great-grandmother moved to Sunderland from Norfolk at the age of 14, and when her parents returned there, she was offered her train fare to follow, but decided to stay on Wearside where she went on to marry her sweetheart Jack, a pitman.

The couple had daughters Valerie and Oriel and during her own working career Phyllis enjoyed a host of jobs including a Butlins chalet maid, cleaner, factory girl and time at a toffee factory.

The family also lived in a host of places including Chester-le-Street, Burnmoor, and Shiney Row, but she was a resident of Penshaw for 30 years until four years ago, when she moved into the Sycamore Lodge Care Home in Grindon.

Her granddaughter Angela Croucher, 56, who cared for Phyllis, alongside her sister Julie Jenkins, 52, until she moved into the home, said: “She was a very private person, but as soon as she had her bus pass, that was it, she was never in the house.

“She loved to shop, but it was mainly window shopping, and she was very independent.

“The people at the care home loved her, they were very good and looked after her very well, and she was a real character.

“She will be really missed.”

Phyllis, who was widowed in 1975 when Jack was 68, also leaves grandchildren Jeff Wilson, 59, Paul Wilson, 43, and Kim Toward, 37.

Valerie died in 1992 aged 59, while Oriel died in 2011, aged 68.

Phyllis died on Monday, January 20, and her funeral was held at Sunderland Crematorium last Thursday (JAN 23).