Tilsworth care home celebrates its first 100-year-old, Rona

Rona. Credit: Jane Russell
Rona. Credit: Jane Russell

A kind Tilsworth centenarian celebrated the news that she was the first person in her care home to reach 100!

Rona Heeps, of Orchard Lodge, Stanbridge Road, marked her special day on Friday (June 15), receiving a card from Her Majesty The Queen and telegram from the government.

Rona with son and daughter Gordon Heeps 77 and Linda Bowen 71. Credit: Jane Russell.

Rona with son and daughter Gordon Heeps 77 and Linda Bowen 71. Credit: Jane Russell.

Her daughter, Linda, said: “The home couldn’t have done more - mum had a lovely day. The lounge was decorated with banners and balloons and we sung happy birthday.

“What’s her secret? She’s very independent. She went into the care home when she was 97 and up until then she lived in a farmhouse in Tebworth. She kept sheep with the help of a farmer friend.”

Indeed Rona’s life began in a cottage in Tebworth at 3pm on June 15, 1918, when a Zeppelin flew over the village!

She married her Welsh husband Percy in March 1939 and the couple celebrated their Ruby Wedding.

Rona with the care home staff. Linda and Gordon would like to thank them for making their mother's birthday very special. Credit: Jane Russell.

Rona with the care home staff. Linda and Gordon would like to thank them for making their mother's birthday very special. Credit: Jane Russell.

Rona and Percy first lived in a cottage in Toddington, where Linda, and her brother Gordon, were born, before the family moved to Willow Tree Farm, Tebworth in 1958. Sadly, Percy died in 1979 because of heart problems, but Rona stayed on at the farm.

Linda said: “Mum loved animals, and gardening. We kept cattle, pigs and sheep and until she was 80 she reared chickens and turkeys for Christmas orders.”

Rona has two granddaughters, two grandsons, five great-grandsons and one great great-grandson.

Rona Heeps with her card. Credit: Jane Russell

Rona Heeps with her card. Credit: Jane Russell