Preston’s oldest woman dies aged 109

Lilian Lunn

Lilian Lunn

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A woman who was believed to be the oldest in Preston has died aged 109.

Great-grandmother Lilian Florence Lunn (nee Todd) was one of the 30 oldest people in Britain and the oldest person in the North West before her death at Knowle Rest Home in Ashton.

Her daughter Anne Ashcroft, 77, said: “She was very feisty. I was very upset when I heard and I cried but it was expected, she had been ill before she passed away.”

Lilian had three other children, twins Doreen and Dorothy and son Frank.

Doreen added: “She was a very fit old lady, she was very fit for her age.

“It is upsetting and we are proud she reached that age.”

Her granddaughter Lisa Gallacher said the secret to Lilian’s long life was in the genes.

She said: “Longevity runs in the family as her parents Ada and Levi both lived to their mid 90s and her sister Elsie lived until 104.

“I think the secret to her longevity is her determined and feisty personality, and also a very basic diet mainly of eggs and fish.”

Lilian was born at home at Hopwood Street, Preston, on October 15, 1906, to Ada and Levi Todd.

Her father Levi helped build Blackpool Tower and she was the third youngest of nine.

She attended a little mission school in the area and then went to Ribbleton Avenue Primary School. Lisa added: “In her younger years, Lillian used to help her mother in their grocer’s shop on Hopwood Street.

“Her first job was as a domestic in Watling Street Road and then she worked for a headmaster as a domestic in Whitestake, Longton.

“Her mother then suggested she get a job as a kitchen maid at Whittingham Hospital, which she started in 1927.

“It was there she met her future husband Arthur Lunn in 1929, who was training to be a psychiatric nurse and was originally from Shropshire.

“Lillian and Arthur married on October, 18, 1934, at Ribbleton Methodist Church.

“They went on have four children. She also has six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.”