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Norfolk’s oldest resident Vi ‘touched lives of so many’

Frances Violet 'Vi' Malin aged 100.
Frances Violet 'Vi' Malin aged 100.

A Lynn resident who is understood to have been the oldest person in Norfolk has died aged 111.

Frances Violet ‘Vi’ Malin, of Lisbon Court, who was also believed to have been the fourth oldest person in the UK, died peacefully early on Monday morning.

Frances Violet 'Vi' Malin aged 100.
Frances Violet 'Vi' Malin aged 100.

Mrs Malin’s nephew Kevin Lloyd, who spoke on behalf of the family, said: “Everyone who met her liked her, she had a big impact on people.”

He said a former hairdresser of hers from Yorkshire, a vicar from Surrey and a niece from Canada were all expected to attend his aunt’s funeral.

“It is going to be a celebration rather than a sorrow event. She touched the lives of so many,” he added.

“She didn’t have any children of her own, but she regularly met up with her nieces and nephews – she was a matriarch figure.

Frances Violet 'Vi' Malin aged 18.
Frances Violet 'Vi' Malin aged 18.

“She will be sorely missed.”

Mrs Malin, who was known as Vi to her friends and Aunty Nin to her family, was born on March 23, 1906 in Ipswich to George and Hannah Lloyd.

When she was five, the family moved to March but headed up to Sheffield where her father was a pub landlord a few years later.

Speaking to the Lynn News last year for her 110th birthday, Mrs Malin said: “I remember a bit of the First World War. We were in the backyard when the German Zeppelins were going past as they were bombing Sheffield.

“We were starving. There was no food in the country. We just had to live on what we could find.”

At the age of 14, Mrs Malin left school and got a job in the Sheffield Steelworks.

She met her husband John, known as Jack, when she was 18 and he was 19. They were together for seven years before tying the knot on September 26, 1931.

When the Second World War broke out the couple were separated for four years, while Mrs Malin worked in shoe shops and as a debt collector.

But when her husband returned and got a job with the trams, Mrs Malin gave up work in 1946.

Mrs Malin, who was very keen on Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, belonged to an operatic society and arranged a number of group trips to the theatre.

She was also a fan of Sheffield Wednesday who she supported alongside her husband – who died in 1993.

The following year, aged 87, she took her first trip in an aeroplane to visit her niece in Canada.

Mr Lloyd said the family wished to praise the staff at Lisbon Court who cared for Mrs Malin for almost two years.

“To the end, she had a high quality of life right until the last few days. Lisbon Court has been impeccable – we are very pleased she went there.”

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