A WOMAN believed to have been the oldest female with Down’s Syndrome in Yorkshire has died at an unprecedented 76 years of age.

Much-loved Gwendoline Heath had been a resident at the Supported Living Care Home, in Rawcliffe Lane, York, for the last 20 years and was the last survivor in a family of 11 sisters.

The “wonderful woman” was described by carers as full of mischief and humour, and was very popular among family and friends until her death from pneumonia on September 16.

Her niece Janet Baker, the daughter of Gwendoline’s sister Murial, said: “She was the most loving, caring, aunt that anybody could wish for.

“Despite all of the things life threw at her she always had a lovely smile and a hug for everyone.

“She didn’t have a husband or children but she did have the best life that was possible with Down’s Syndrome.

“She’s going to be sadly missed.”

Miss Heath was born to George Henry Heath and Rose Ann Heath on August 4, 1939, in Spalding Avenue, York.

The family moved to Huntington when she was a child and she was taken into the care of Claypenny Hospital, in Easingwold, when her mother died in 1954.

Her care later moved to Howe Hill Hostel and she spent the last 20 years of her life in Rawcliffe Lane.

Gwen, or Gwenny as she was often called, enjoyed holidays in Scarborough with her sisters Murial and Mary and visiting the pub for a Guinness and packet of crisps.

A favourite past-time included trips to Fenwick’s for lunch, where she would have her hair done and buy new clothes.

Dorothy Jarvis-Lee, chief executive of Unique Personalised Support, which runs Supported Living Care Home, said: “I was privileged to know Gwen for many years and knew her as a wonderful woman, who was filled with mischief and humour, a woman who truly cared for her loved ones and those around her.”

“Such a gentle soul, one who was incredibly warm, loved to dance and listen to music by Magic, a lady who was beautiful, inside and out.”

A funeral service will take place from 2.20pm on October 5 at York Crematorium, and a wake at The Blacksmith Arms, Huntington.