MANY people who knew Sarah McLean will miss a woman believed to have been the oldest in East Lothian – after she died aged 107.
Sarah McLean passed away in her sleep on New Year’s Day at Florabank Care Home in Haddington, where she had lived since 1985.
Louise Pollock, manager of the care home, described her as a “lovely Christian lady who was very well loved by staff and residents here”, and whose death was a “very sad loss”.
Born in Belfast, Miss McLean lost her mother at a young age.
Her father re-married but his second wife died when Miss McLean was 15, leaving her to look after the family, comprising of her younger siblings – two sisters and two brothers.
She was a devout Christian and had wanted to become a missionary but was unable to fulfil this ambition due to poor hearing.
Ms Pollock said: “She had lived here since 1985 and was certainly the longest-term resident as well. For many people she’s a really huge part of Florabank.”
The centenarian had been presented with cards on her 100th, 105th, 106th and 107th birthdays by the Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian, Sir Garth Morrison, who gave a fond testimonial to Miss McLean as well as the staff at Florabank.
He said: “[Her age] is a great tribute not only to her resilience, but also to the quality of care you get in Florabank.
“I recall her very well. I remember each time I left [having visited her], I said ‘I look forward to seeing you again next year’, so I’m very sorry to hear of her passing.She’s the oldest resident I’ve come across and I had the opportunity to meet her several times, which was nice. She was very interactive with those around her.”
Although it is unconfirmed, it is believed that at 107, Miss McLean was the county’s oldest woman – Ms Pollock said she wasn’t aware of any older women in East Lothian.
She was only three years short of equalling the record of Scotland’s oldest living person.
This accolade was held by Janet Sheed Roberts from Moray, who had celebrated her 110th birthday before passing away in April of last year.
Sarah’s funeral service took place at Florabank on Friday, with interment at St Martin’s Cemetery.