Kathleen Travis, former dance teacher

Kathleen Travis with her son, Jonathan
Kathleen Travis with her son, Jonathan
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Kathleen (Kay) Travis, who has died three months short of her 108th birthday, could claim to be easily one of Yorkshire’s oldest residents, and it was her wish that her body be left to Leicester University, in order that scientists might study her longevity.

Despite being well into her 11th decade, she lived virtually independently in her own home in Crosspool, Sheffield, enjoying games of bridge, takeaway pizza, fish and chips and a regular glass of whisky, which she regarded as “good medicine”.

Born in Sheffield four years before the outbreak of the First World War, she lost her father, John Gamble, to the conflict. He died in 1917, a few days before her seventh birthday. Her mother later remarried and had a son.

Kay taught dancing before meeting and marrying Reginald Travis, who managed the long-established silver makers Travis, Wilson and Co, which was sold in 1976 and eventually became part of Pinder Bros.

She lived in the same house for 80 years, and was a keen gardener before arthritis took its toll. Trips out for lunch with friends and family, and shopping excursions with her carers, remained regular fixtures until recently.

Her 107th birthday was marked last summer with meals at the Crosspool Tavern and Nonna’s Italian restaurant on Ecclesall Road, and by a tea party at home.

She is survived by her son, Jon, who is 78, and by two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.