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100-year-old dies after life in Africa

PUBLISHED: 16:09 15 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:33 03 March 2010

CENTENARIAN Evelyn Cobner, who was struck down with potentially fatal diptheria at the age of three, has died at the age of 100.

Mrs Cobner, who lived in Felixstowe, celebrated her landmark birthday last August with a party with more than 50 family and friends.

CENTENARIAN Evelyn Cobner, who was struck down with potentially fatal diptheria at the age of three, has died at the age of 100.

Mrs Cobner, who lived in Felixstowe, celebrated her landmark birthday last August with a party with more than 50 family and friends.

Longevity runs in the family as her mother Emma Watson lived to be 102.

Mrs Cobner, who was born in Cromwell Street, Ipswich, in 1901.

Of her illness as a child Mrs Cobner recalled: "They thought I was going to die. But my mother was a good nurse."

She spent around 30 years in Africa working as a children's nanny and it was there that she met husband to be Pat Cobner, an engineer, and they married in June 1928.

At 18 she had gone to London to train as a children's nurse before being employed as a nanny.

It was this work that took her to Africa where she lived close to the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in intense heat and with no running water.

During her time there she had two children, Tony and Meryl, who both returned to Ipswich to go to school.

Mrs Cobner returned to Ipswich in the mid 1950s initially living in Nacton Road and then moving to Cranfield Court, Valley Road. Her husband Pat died in 1971 after 43 years of marriage. She moved to Felixstowe 18 months ago.

A funeral service will be held at Ipswich Crematorium on March 20.


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