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Sutton Coldfield great-grandmother Vera follows in her mother's footsteps as she celebrates her100th birthday

By Sutton Coldfield Observer  |  Posted: February 22, 2014

  • Vera Willis, who turned 100 years old this week, received a card from the Queen to go alongside the one her mum, Annie Day, received when she reached her 100th birthday. SFrs190314willis1

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A WOMAN celebrating her sparkling 100th birthday in Sutton proudly holds two cards from the Queen – her own and one sent to her mother when she became a centenarian 35 years ago.

Obviously longevity runs in the family as Vera Willis reached a milestone many of us could only wish for on Tuesday (February 18).

Vera celebrated in style surrounded by friends and family at The Gables, the Sutton care home she moved to shortly before Christmas.

Her own mother, Annie Matilda Day, turned 100 on December 30, 1978, and also received a much -treasured card from the Queen, which Vera holds dear.

Her daughter-in-law Veronica Willis, who is married to Vera's only son Robin said: "Vera is a remarkable woman and we are very proud of her. It is wonderful that she has reached 100 and we are all so excited for her. She is so astute, it's unbelievable."

Vera lived on Coles Lane for much of her life after herself and husband Wilf, who she married in June 1937, moved to Sutton from Cheltenham.

The couple owned and ran a company called Longmores on the Parade in Sutton, which was a ladies and gents outfitters, and also supplied school uniforms to children in the town for many years, so the couple were well-known in the town.

Wilf passed away some 35 years ago.

Vera's hobbies have included being an active member of the Sutton Coldfield Angling Society, and she has also been made a life member and honorary president of the club.

Veronica said: "She is also a great seamstress and loves sewing and knitting, and is very artistic."

Vera will be enjoying more celebrations later this month, and next, along with her family, which also includes three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

She believes the secret to a long and happy life is good food, fishing, and a tot of sherry or Baileys before bedtime.

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