ONE of York’s oldest residents has died at the age of 103.

Doris May Alderson passed away in York Hospital two days before Christmas.

Her son, Eddie, said his mother had been “independent to the end”.

For the last two-and-a-half years of her life, Mrs Alderson had lived at Woolnough House in Tang Hall. Staff there helped her to celebrate her 103rd birthday last October.

Mrs Alderson was born in Wheldrake in 1909.

A pupil at Priory Street School, she was the daughter of Charlie Leaf, whose family-run butcher’s shop served customers from many villages in the area and where she worked herself during the Second World War.

Mrs Alderson also worked as a nursemaid and at Wright’s butchers in Nunnery Lane, as well as volunteering at the café at York Hospital.

Following her early years in Wheldrake, she later lived in Elvington and Huntington, before moving to a bungalow in Osbaldwick.

She had three grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

In an unusual family twist, she shared her birthday on October 20 with both her granddaughter Faye and her great-great-grandson Leo, who was born on Mrs Alderson’s 100th birthday in 2009.

Her son said: “We were always exceptionally close, not just as mother and son, but also when she worked for a building company which I set up.

“I suppose we have been in each other’s pockets throughout her life.

“She took an enormous interest in everything I and all her family did and she was an extremely doting mother, but one thing which always stood out about her was her independence.

“That was shown by the fact she lived in her own home until she was 101.

“She also had a great love of colour and nature and loved the rural life.

“Her last wish would have been to become a farmer’s wife.”

Mr Leaf said his mother was also “exceptionally close” to the Goodrick family; Joan – her only remaining sister – and her husband Charlie and their four children. “She was like a second mother to their children and they all thought the world of her, as she did of them,” he said.

•Mrs Alderson’s funeral will be held on Wednesday, January 16, at 12.20pm at York Crematorium, with family flowers only.