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Maidstone supercentenarian Vera Pigott dies at the age of 111 at Sutton Valence Care Home on North Street

ByNatalie Tipping

A woman who reached the grand age of 111 in July has died.

Vera Pigott was born on the day Lawrence Doherty won the men's singles Wimbledon title in 1905, and celebrated her 111th birthday on July 8.

This made her the second oldest woman in Kent, pipped by just 61 days by Alice Ducat, who lives in Hythe.

Vera and Douglas on their wedding day in 1924
Vera and Douglas on their wedding day in 1924

She was married in 1924 to Douglas Pigott, a bank clerk. 

The supercentenarian was a full-time housewife and mother to the couple's four children for 23 years, and later became a copy typist and receptionist. 

The couple served as air raid wardens in Broadstairs during the Second World War. 

Her husband sadly died in 1988, leaving Vera as the matriarch of the family. 

More sadness followed in 2009 when her eldest son Donald died, then aged 79. 

Vera Pigott aged five in 1910
Vera Pigott aged five in 1910

Vera was still much loved and cared for by her remaining children.

Beryl, her eldest daughter, is now 90 and lives in Guildford, while her younger daughter Monica lives in Aviemore, Scotland, aged 81. 

Her younger son Graham lived close to his mother and visited her every day at Sutton Valence Care Home, where she had lived since 2006. 

The 69-year-old said of his mother: "She was a very lovely mother to all the family over the years."

Vera with her son Graham Pigott (left) and grandson Kevin Lee (right) on her 110th birthday last year
Vera with her son Graham Pigott (left) and grandson Kevin Lee (right) on her 110th birthday last year

She had celebrated her 111th birthday with family members and staff at the North Street care home in July, and is said to have been in high spirits despite her very advanced years. 

Graham had visited his mother during the day last Thursday, and said she was calm and in good spirits. 

She took a turn for the worst later that evening, and sadly died around 9pm. 

Carla Bolding, home manager at Sutton Valence, said: "Vera was a remarkable lady who was popular with the care team and residents at Sutton Valance Care Home and she will be sadly missed.

"She lived with us for nearly 10 years and thoroughly enjoyed her 111th birthday celebration with us in July with her son Graham, she always did love a good party."

At the time of her passing, Vera was the fourth oldest person in Britain, and the second oldest in Kent. 

Sutton Valence woman Vera Pigott, pictured at 25
Sutton Valence woman Vera Pigott, pictured at 25

Her youngest son had previously said he has no idea how she's managed this feat, with no history of exceptionally long life in the family. 

"My sisters and I are amazed at what she's achieved. We can't think of anyone in the family who has had such longevity so we don't know where she gets it from," he said. 

Amazingly, the top 30 oldest people in the country are all women, according to the oldest in Britain website, which updates according to death registrations. 

When asked how she had managed to live so long, Vera previously quipped that people should avoid too much partying if they want to live longer. 

A date for the funeral has not yet been set. 

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