Sussex’s oldest woman reaches 109 and has a surprising secret to a long and happy life

SUS-190124-103637001
SUS-190124-103637001

The oldest woman in Sussex, and probably one of the oldest women in the world, has celebrated her 109th birthday.

Mona Furminger has celebrated with her friends and family at Shalom Rest Home Carew Road, Eastbourne.

The remarkable lady, who now has 10 cards from the Queen, has lived a full life and had seven children. There are now five surviving children including Ken, now 85 and the youngest, Marie, now aged 70.

Mona has more than 20 grandchildren, even more great grandchildren and five great, great grandchildren at the last count.

Mona was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, on January 19, 1910, and spent her early years in service in Kensington Gardens, London.

Then she moved to Pevensey, and then Alfriston when she met her husband Walter in the 1930s.

They were pen-friends, who met through Walter’s sister.

Walter, known locally as Wally, was a policeman in Pevensey and then Alfriston, and the family was well known in the area.

The the pair later became the steward and stewardess of the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club.

As well as being captain of the stoolball team, Mona had worked in Tudor Tea Rooms in the village, and worked as a caterer at a Hailsham school.

Daughters Linda and Marie said their mother had a ‘terrific sense of humour and she’s just always been on the go’.

The couple retired to Hailsham, and Walter died aged 63, 44 years ago.

On her greatest achievement, Mona said it was having her seven children.

Daughter Linda spoke to the Herald ahead of her mother’s birthday and explained she was a hard worker.

She said, “She always put her long and happy life down to hard work.

“She never stopped!”