Swindon woman dies aged 106
5:30am Friday 21st February 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
EVELINE Steele-Davis will be reunited with husband, Tommy, 60 years after his death, after she died at the age of 106.
Eve, as she was known to family and friends, persevered on for six decades after she lost the love of her life, and will be buried beside him after passing away peacefully last Friday.
She leaves behind daughter Jill, 76, son Sandy, 68, along with five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Devoting her life to her family, Eve never once raised her voice even through the strains of financial hardship.
“She was considered a delicate child, and contracted scarlet fever in her teens,” said Sandy.
“She was sent to Scotland to convalesce, because she thought the fresh air up there would be better for her than sitting in the hospital. It obviously worked.
“While in Scotland she met her husband Thomas, who worked in the local post office. They married in 1932.
“When war broke out they moved to Devizes because Kent, where they had relocated to, wasn’t safe. The family then moved to Swindon in 1947 when Tommy got a job in Skurrays. They paid her a pension for 62 years from the day her husband died.
“Tragedy struck in 1952 when Tommy died of pancreatic cancer. She was left alone with two children aged 15 and seven.”
Sandy said he never remembered an argument with Eve.
“She was very religious, and received holy communion throughout her life, latterly at home,” he said. “She had a calm and forgiving nature, always seeing the best in everyone. I can never remember any arguments with her. That is probably more to her credit than mine.
“She never worked, always believing she should be there for her children. What we lacked in money we gained tenfold in love and caring.
“Her calm nature may be one reason for her long life. She never smoked and rarely drank. In later years she was sustained by daily visits from family. .
“She was 55 when the Beatles were formed. She remembered World War One, and because they lived next to the railway line she saw all the troops heading down to Dover, all happy and cheering.
“She lived her life through her children and devoted her life to us. I was very fortunate to have such a kind and caring mother.
Eve’s niece, Rosemarie Merrifield, added: “She made the best of every situation and despite the sense of despair she must have felt at the very early death of Tommy she carried on with strength and hope, and always did the best she could with a smile and cheery word.”