A 101-year-old North Yorkshire woman has died just four days short of her 102nd birthday.

Maria Kennedy passed away on May 13, at Highfields Nursing Home, in Barkston Ash, near Tadcaster. She had lived at Dower House, Escrick, for nine years until it closed in November 2001, after living in Boston Spa since the early 1960s.

She leaves a daughter, Erith Purcell, two grandchildren, Diana and Peter, and four great-grandchildren, Nicola, Jonathan, Matthew and Victoria. Her husband, Horace, with whom she celebrated a diamond wedding in September 1983, died in 1986, aged 92.

Mrs Purcell, who was with her mother when she passed away, said: "Her magnificent innings could be attributed to her cheerful, loving attitude to life, good food and plenty of laughs. She was a very loving person and we had many laughs together."

She said her mother, who was born in the Midlands, had come from a family of four brothers and four sisters, all of whom lived until their 80s or 90s except for one brother who was killed while working in the pit in his early 30s.

Mrs Kennedy's funeral will be held at West Thorpe Methodist Church, Dringhouses, York, tomorrow followed by a private committal at York Crematorium.

Updated: 11:28 Wednesday, May 21, 2003