Determined Dorothy Hiron dies at age of 104 after a 'quiet life'
A DERBY woman who lived in her own home until she was 103 has died.
Dorothy Hiron was one the city's oldest residents when she passed away aged 104 last month at the Gables Residential Home in Oakwood.
Derby born-and-bred, she has been fondly remembered by her nephew, Brian Purcell, who spent the past 10 years visiting her each day to make sure she was managing alone.
He said: "I would spend each afternoon with her at her home in Broadway and she was really very independent up to the last couple of years. She walked with a stroller but her hearing and sight were good for her age.
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"But when she was ill last March and had to go into hospital, it was decided she needed 24-hour care, which I could not do. So she moved in to the Gables and I went with her to stay as well.
"I had a room near hers and so I have been able to see her every day. I will miss her."
Mrs Hiron was born Dorothy May Smith in 1908 and she lived initially with her family in Oliver Street, Derby. Her sister, Mabel, was Mr Purcell's mother.
He said: "Some of the family were butchers and I recall her mentioning shops they had in Pear Tree Street and London Road.
"She was also able to recall seeing Zeppelins fly over Derby during the First World War, even though she would have been quite young."
As a young woman, Mrs Hiron went out to work and was, for a time, employed at retailers Thurman and Malin in St Peter's Street and then later at Midland Drapery in East Street.
While at the latter, she met a hairdresser and decided to train with her and take hairdressing up as a career.
She worked in a salon in the Cavendish area of Normanton and then had a shop in Gower Street, Derby.
Mr Purcell said: "She was a very astute and careful woman, especially when it came to money. After giving up the Gower Street business, she bought a property on the corner of Macklin Street and Green Lane, intending to open it as another salon.
"When she didn't get planning permission, she turned the property into flats instead. She did the same thing with a place in Duffield."
Mrs Hiron was married to Eric, who died in the 1970s, aged 71. The couple had decided not to have children when it was discovered he had an hereditary disease.
Mr Purcell, 83, said: "She didn't take lots of extravagant holidays, preferring instead to buy a tent, initially, and then a caravan which she kept at different times at Christchurch in Dorset, Ingoldmells in Lincolnshire and on the Norfolk coast."
Despite her long life, Mrs Hiron said she did not have a magic recipe for longevity.
He said: "People often asked what her secret was to living so long but all she would say was that determination kept her going."
Although she received a letter from the Queen when she was 100, Mr Purcell said she never celebrated her milestone birthdays with parties.
He said: "She lived a fairly quiet life. She loved gardening and she watched the television. She will be missed by remaining friends and family but her funeral will be a celebration of her life."
Mrs Hiron's funeral will take place at the round chapel of Markeaton Crematorium on Wednesday at 1.40pm.