Tributes paid to ‘one in a million lady’ from Hastings
Tributes have been paid to a Hastings woman who died at the age of 105.
Ivy Dorothy Smith was born in Hastings on August 2, 1915. She died on February 17, 2021.
On her 105th birthday, she was interviewed on ITV and received many cards, flowers and gifts.
Paying tribute to her, family friend Adele Rew said: “She is loved and sadly missed by so many and will be in our hearts for ever.
“One in a million lady.”
Ivy was the daughter of a lamplighter and was one of six children.
She grew up in Hastings and attended school from the age of five, until she left, aged 14.
After school, she started work as a housemaid at Cooden Beach Hotel. She only stayed a few weeks as her mother felt she was too far from home. One of her brothers was sent to collect her on his bike and she sat in the carrier basket with her bags on her lap.
She then worked at a rectory near Bohemia Road, before joining Woolworths where she stayed until she retired on her 60th birthday.
She loved her job, starting as a sales assistant and rising to supervisor. On her own admission, she was a hard task master.
At the age of 20, Ivy married Ben Mitchell at Christchurch, in Ore. Three years later, they adopted Brian. Following this they fostered many children including Susan Bannister at the age of three months.
Sue and Ivy lived together until Ivy needed to go in to care at Barchester Towers in De Cham Road at the age of 100. Sue died in 2017.
Ivy’s husband, Ben died in 1969 and, in 1971, Ivy married Harry Smith from Scotland. Harry had a large family and Ivy was very close to them.
Harry died in 1980, and Ivy continued to regularly visit the family in Scotland until she was 99 years old, travelling by train and coach.
She also travelled abroad whenever possible and learnt to ski when she was 74 years old.
Adele added: “Ivy was a very hard working lady and always ready to help anyone.
“Prior to having to go in to care, she was a regular bus passenger going to Bexhill, Eastbourne and Rye market.
“During the most recent years, until Covid, her son and daughter-in-law would take her out for a bus ride. She always liked to ride upstairs in the front seat in order to have a better view. She enjoyed her lunches out.”
Ivy had three grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren, the youngest of which was born on her 105th birthday.