Mary Schoblom turned 100 on May 27 and celebrated at the care home where she lives, St Vincent House, Southsea.
Mary’s daughter Joyce says: ‘She enjoyed it, it was a lovely day.’
Mary, who now suffers with dementia, ‘clapped her hands and smiled’ over the course of her special day and seemed thrilled with her letter from the Queen.
The centenarian, who Joyce describes as a ‘warm-hearted person, full of fun and adventure,’ also had a second celebration the next day at Joyce’s home in Old Portsmouth for wider relatives, partners and all five of her grandchildren.
Joyce says: ‘She had two lovely days and enjoyed all the fuss, balloons and Champagne.’
‘Her grandchildren adore her, I was quite strict with my twin girls, they weren’t allowed crisps or chocolate so at weekends they would go to her and be sick on all the things they weren’t allowed at home! She really spoiled them and they love her to bits.’
Her daughters, who until two years ago cared for their mother at their own homes, decided she needed round the clock care after Mary was found by police and brought home one December evening after she strolled into the night.
They praise the care of the ‘forward-thinking’ home which provides all sorts of activities for their residents, including arranging a speedboat trip for Mary just last month.
‘People in wheelchairs are anchored in the speedboat, she loved it as she whizzed around on the water,’ says Joyce.
Mary was born in Bootle, Liverpool, and moved south after meeting her soon-to-be husband.
‘She met my father who was in the navy, he was from the Isle of Wight so she came here, married him and had his babies,’ Joyce says.
‘Sadly, he died in a yachting accident in 1946 so she brought up two daughters on her own,’ she adds.
Mary, who then lived in Paulsgrove with her two daughters, had a ‘tough’ time as a single-mum managing three jobs until she met and married a Royal Marine in 1981, who Joyce describes as a ‘fantastic step-dad’, moving to Fratton and having her final daughter.
‘She was a fantastic mum, a good cook, all our friends would ask to come to our house because she cooked and always made cakes,’ says Joyce
‘She liked to go out in the evening too. Just a lovely woman, a good role model,’ she adds.
Mary, who was ‘well- known and well-liked’ worked at the bowling alley on Arundel Street for 18 years, and nursed her husband for 16 years after he had a stroke at the age of 59.
‘She’s survived so much, when she smiles you want to be there to see it,’ says Joyce.