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Abbotsford's oldest citizen dies short of 108th birthday

Nora Deadman, Abbotsford’s oldest citizen, passed away peacefully on Feb. 12. - Vikki Hopes file photo
Nora Deadman, Abbotsford’s oldest citizen, passed away peacefully on Feb. 12.
— image credit: Vikki Hopes file photo

Longtime Abbotsford resident Nora Deadman, who held the title of the city’s oldest citizen, died Feb. 12 just four months short of her 108th birthday.

Nora died peacefully in her sleep at the Delta View care home in Delta, where she had been moved after a short hospital stay when she suffered a fall.

Nora lived in Abbotsford until last June – just after her 107th birthday – when she moved to an assisted-living facility in Ladner.

Before that, she resided at the Carriage Lane seniors’ townhouse complex in Abbotsford.

Nora was born on June 9, 1906 to the Sherlock family in the town of Haslemere in Surrey, England.

She became a housemaid at the age of 14, then a parlour maid and nanny for a member of the British parliament.

Nora married Robert James (Jim) Deadman in 1928 and they immigrated to Canada in 1948, settling in Abbotsford a year later.

Jim was a sheet metal worker, and Nora often accompanied him as he set up temporary residence in towns where he worked as a project manager on pulp mill installations.

The couple had been married 57 years when Jim passed away in 1985. Their only child, Patricia, died in 2010 at the age of 79.

Nora lived through two world wars, travelled on the Concorde airliner six times, went river rafting on her 90th birthday and bowled until she was 99.

Over the years, she enjoyed gardening and knitting and was a member of the Abbotsford Hospital Auxiliary for 50 years. She knitted more than 1,200 newborn baby sets, which were sold in the auxiliary gift shop.

Nora credited her longevity and good health to “moderate living.”

Nora is survived by her son-in-law Ed Jacob, grandchildren Craig Jacob and Dianne Jager, six great-grandchildren, five great-great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews in England.

Her memorial service takes place Saturday, March 1 at 2 p.m. at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 6340 No. 4 Rd. in Richmond.

A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, March 4 at 2 p.m. in the community hall at Carriage Lane, 31691 Garibaldi Drive in Abbotsford.

The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in Nora’s memory to a charity of choice.

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