Tributes paid to Bridget Lavelle who dies aged 106

Bridget Lavelle. Picture: contributed
Bridget Lavelle. Picture: contributed
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TRIBUTES have been paid to a great-great grandmother who passed away at the age of 106.

Bridget Lavelle, who was born in Ireland and moved to Scotland when she was aged 15, was featured in the Evening News in September.

She had a family party which was attended by some of her 16 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren in her home in Wilkieston to celebrate her birthday.

Mrs Lavelle, who was one of the oldest people in the Lothians and was cared for by son Tony and daughter Anne, put her amazing longevity down to “hard work and a wee dram every now and again”.

Daughter Anne Clason, 77, said she was still in shock over her mother’s passing. She said: “Obviously we knew this had to happen, but it’s still very hard, especially at this time of year.

“I’ve had her with me so long that I keep forgetting she is gone.

“I keep thinking about whether she might need anything, and almost writing her name on my Christmas cards.

“I know I’m very lucky to have had my mother with me so long, but it’s still very hard to accept that she’s no longer here. But she had a great life, and that’s the important thing.”

Mrs Lavelle met her late ­husband, Thaddeus, when they were working together on a potato farm.

The couple lived in Hermiston and Mid Calder before moving to Wilkieston in 1952 with their six children, Tony, Mary-Ann, Thady, Anne, Peter and Catherine.

Mrs Lavelle worked for a time at the RAF base in Kirknewton before she was given a position in the kitchen at the Linburn Centre for the War Blinded, where she remained until she retired aged 74.

She was admitted to hospital after suffering a fall at home, and passed away some weeks later on December 6.

Anne’s son, Mike ­Newland, 36, said: “We were very touched by the fact that Monsignor Michael Reagan of St Mary’s Cathedral, whose mother actually knew my grandmother back in Ireland, officiated at her funeral ­service.”

West Lothian’s depute provost, Dave King, who was present at Mrs Lavelle’s 106th birthday party, said his thoughts were with her family and friends.

He said: “It was my pleasure to know Bridget for over 30 years and she was truly an incredible woman.

“She was well known and much loved locally. It was a very sad day when she passed.”

jen.lavery@edinburghnews.com