Sadness as Dunstable’s oldest resident Olive Ashley dies at 109

Olive Ashley

Olive Ashley

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Dunstable’s oldest resident Olive Ashley passed away yesterday at the age of 109, it has been confirmed.

The Gazette has a tradition of marking Olive’s birthdays ever since the Friary Lodge resident turned 100.

Each birthday on September 16 would be marked by a special visit from the mayor of Dunstable and the Gazette was always on hand to honour the occasion.

As well as being the oldest person in Dunstable, Olive was also the 18th oldest person in the country at the time of her death.

Speaking to the Gazette at her 107th birthday in 2013, Olive said: “I suppose my secret is never drinking alcohol - not even champagne at weddings.

“I’ve never smoked either, I can’t stand smoke.”

Born in Tottenham, Olive worked as a florist before retiring in 1969, and also made aircraft parts for two and a half years during the Second World War.

However, her most valued time was spent with the Church and Salvation Army.

“My whole life has been about God,” she said.

There will be a tribute to Olive in next week’s Dunstable Gazette.