Jean’s still so full of energy at age 100

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Jean Jackson, a former missionary, has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Born in Glasgow on February 1, 1915, she was named Jane but always known as Jean. Her father worked as a printer at Blackie and Son Ltd, having done his training with the Hawick News. But sadly he died from war wounds when she was only five.

Jean and her mum returned to Hawick to live with relatives and she grew up in the Borders.

She worked for Braemar Knitwear until she married James Jackson on December 13, 1940. They were childhood sweethearts. He came from Jedburgh and both were involved with the Apostolic Church.

Jim was called to be a pastor in 1955 and they went from there to Eastbourne in 1957.

Then in 1962 they were asked to go and help with the churches over in France and they accepted the call and went to Dieppe.

Jim, now known as Pastor Jackson, and Jean both worked for the Apostolic church in Dieppe and other locations in Normandy.

They retired back to Scotland, but this time to Musselburgh, in 1980. They would go around different churches in the area, preaching and taking services.

Jean would go along and be a support to her husband, but also act as a valued friend to many in the local congregations.

They spent some time working in a church in Galashiels.

Pastor Jackson died in 1991, but Jean stayed on at their house in Musselburgh and still lives independently.

While she was still able, she helped with coffee mornings at the Apostolic Church in the town and ran the ladies group.

Family friend Michelle Lewis says: “When I first met her 20 years ago, I had no idea she was 80. In fact I wasn’t aware of her age for quite some time.

“She is so full of energy. Having lived in France for many years she thinks in French and then says whatever she is thinking in English. She loves cheese and wine and her favourite chocolate is French liqueurs. She often says ‘A little bit of what I fancy hasn’t done me any harm’.

“Although she is now housebound, she is still fiercely independent and has all her wits about her and she crochets to within an inch of herself.

“I am so honoured to know her and everyone who knows her loves her.”

Jean has two sons – David, who is married and lives in Germany, and Alex, who lives in France with his wife. She also has five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

They travelled from the continent – and some from America – for a special celebration of Jean’s centenary, which meant for the first time, all the family were together in one place as they marked her special birthday with a party at the church.