Ada Stoyles Furby

  • Lifespan: July 22, 1903 – July 27, 2014
  • Age: 111 years, 5 days
  • Birthplace: England, UK
  • Last residence: West Leederville, Western Australia, Australia
  • Validation date: June 16, 2015
  • Validation source: Ben Whitehall/Mark Muir/Andrew Holmes/Oliver Trim/Waclaw Jan Kroczek

Ada Stoyles Furby was born in England, UK on July 22, 1903. In 1923, she traveled to Perth for a holiday with her father, but fell ill shortly before they were due to return home. Her father left her at the Good Shepherd Convent in Leederville, in order to recuperate, and he later traveled back to England. Furby remained in Australia permanently, serving in the convent for forty years, before moving to Villa Peletier, located in West Leederville, in 1971. Ms Furby was committed to making a difference in the community and until late senility, had been involved in many villa activities. She spent years working in the convent’s sewing room and became an auxiliary, supporting the Sisters to look after the girls who were in care. This later led to a role as a teacher’s aid, helping educate young women in the art of cooking and cake decorating. Ms Furby also won numerous awards for her crochet and embroidery work at the Perth Royal Show and continued to crochet until she was 100 when her failing eyesight made it too difficult to continue. When Ms Furby arrived in Australia, it was a young nation yet to experience much of what has shaped it today. During her 109 years, she has lived through World War II and the Great Depression, seen the creation of vegemite and penicillin and watched Phar Lap win his first Melbourne Cup.

The life alongside the Sisters of the Good Shepherd proved the perfect match and Furby never returned to England. She spent more than 40 years with the convent, helping vulnerable girls in care.

Good Shepherd area leader Sister Geraldine Mitchell, who has known Ms Furby for 42 years, said she had a generous spirit.

“Helping people is her life, she lives to help others and she is very unselfish,” she said.

Villa Pelletier manager Joyce D’Bayan said Ms Furby was a much-loved member of the community. “Ada is a fighter for life,” she said. “She loves being with people and she loves life. I love her for that.”

Furby passed away in Villa Peletier, West Leederville, Western Australia, Australia, on July 27, 2014, at the age of 111 years, 5 days. At the time of her death, she was the second-oldest living person in Australia, behind Ethel Farrell.
Ada Stoyles Furby’s age was verified by Ben Whitehall, Mark Muir, Andrew Holmes, Oliver Trim, GRG Correspondent for the United Kingdom, and Waclaw Jan Kroczek, and validated by the Gerontology Research Group as of June 16, 2015.

Ada Furby turns 110 today. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

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