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Lived alone until almost 100, now marking 103rd

WITH her fresh-faced looks defying her age, Doris ‘Joyce’ McGrath celebrated her 103rd birthday in Revesby on Friday with daughter-in-law Beverly Spithill among the many well-wishers keen to know the secrets to her long, healthy life.

SHE didn’t have an easy start but Doris ‘Joyce’ McGrath certainly made up for it and is grateful to have had such a long, happy life as she reflected on turning 103 last Friday.
Living independently in her Picnic Point home until aged nearly 100, she moved to Beechwood Aged Care Home in Revesby just over three years ago and is in wonderful shape, according to daughter-in-law Beverly who said that apart from failing sight, Doris is a remarkable, fiesty and courageous woman.
“She still gives the staff plenty of cheek and enjoys having a laugh,” she said.
Born in Hornsby, Doris’ mother passed away when she was three and she was moved into a children’s home with her two siblings.
The family was reunited when her father remarried and then went on to have six more children with his second wife, one of which is still alive.
Doris married Ozzie Spithill and settled in Waterloo where they raised their son Ron who, along with Beverly, had Nathan and Alison.
After Ozzie died, she married Bill McGrath who also passed away along with son Ron six years ago.
She now has four great-granddaughters and according to Beverly, is still very independent.
“She always loved dancing and was a member of a local walking group near Picnic Point,” Beverly said.
“During her working life, she was a seamstress at an underwear factory before working in stores at Garden Island and making flags for the government.
“She was also awarded a certificate of recognition for her volunteering efforts and was involved in all the activities and outings at Beechwood until recently.”
Friends and family helped her celebrate her milestone birthday at a special event hosted by Beechwood on Friday.