Great grandmother Gwenda dies two days after 106th birthday

Gwenda and husband, wartime bomber pilot Donald, on their wedding dayGwenda and husband, wartime bomber pilot Donald, on their wedding day

Tributes have been paid to an ‘amazing’ woman who has died two days after her 106th birthday.

Gwenda Benbow, who was one of the oldest people in the Bay, died peacefully at Greycliffe Manor care home in Torquay.

Born in Bristol, as a child she enjoyed ballet dancing and later in her teens, had her own horse to ride.

During the Second World War, she worked as a PA at the then Westminster Bank in Weston-super-Mare.

Her wartime life also included being an auxiliary fire warden in Bristol where she continued to live.

She married husband Donald, a highly decorated bomber pilot during the war, in 1943.

Two children followed, first Tim then daughter Diana.

After living in Yatton, a village outside Bristol for some years, the family moved to Torquay.

Donald was then working for the family business Benbows shop fitters which had contracts all over the world.

Gwenda looked after the family and home after moving to Torquay.

She enjoyed a varied and active life, enjoying playing bridge and swimming.

A keen swimmer, she regularly used the pool at a hotel in Belgrave Road then owned by Diana and her husband.

She was also an active member of the Mother’s Union.

The couple enjoyed many worldwide holidays, visiting far flung destinations.

Following Donald’s death in 2000, Gwenda continued to play bridge and enjoy keep fit classes.

Fortunate to have a large circle of friends, Gwenda enjoyed a busy social life and also spent time at son Tim’s home in France.

Until the age of 104, she was able to live in her own home.

She moved into the care home, where she was looked after wonderfully, mainly for company as she had felt isolated at home.

Diana said: “She had a fulfilled life and was very easy to get on with.

And she loved parties, any major event was a reason to have a party.

“She had a very long and happy life.”

She leaves children Tim and Diana, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.