Amazing Grace is unstoppable on her 100th birthday, having moved to Worthing ‘to retire’

A lifelong peace campaigner is celebrating her 100th birthday, having survived a broken neck, multiple heart attacks and sepsis last year.

Grace Farestvedt has lived in Worthing for 35 years and has been active in a number of groups, despite moving to the coast to retire.

She has been a lifelong campaigner for the peace movement and CND, including meeting Yoko Ono at a peace rally in the 1980s.

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She was employed in social work for 20 years and after moving to Worthing in 1985, worked as a charity shop volunteer for Oxfam, receiving a long-service award after 21 years.

Grace Farestvedt on one of her glider flights in Sussex in her 90s

Granddaughter Helen Wiggins said: “We are pleased that Grace will be celebrating her 100th birthday on November 3 this year. She’s unstoppable! She raised two daughters on her own and went on to help raise two granddaughters and now four great granddaughters.

“She came to Worthing to retire but hasn’t stopped since she arrived. Grace has been a supporter of a local walking group and led many walks all across Sussex. The walking must have kept her very fit.

“She is pescatarian and followed a wholefood diet long before anyone had heard of vegetarianism. She keeps a forward-thinking and active mind and belonged to the U3A, studying many subjects, including natural history and music.

“She was also a member of the local town twinning group. She is very open minded and takes strength from her spirituality. Her Christian faith has remained important to her throughout her life and she is still a valued member of Offington Park Methodist Church.”

Grace Farestvedt has been a lifelong campaigner for the peace movement and CND

Born Grace Burgess in Tottenham on November 3, 1920, she moved to Enfield at age 21 and then to Potter’s Bar in Hertfordshire in 1959. Grace married Berger Farestvedt, a Norwegian, in the late 1960s.

She has been presented to royalty on several occasions, including the Queen Mother, Prince Philip and Princess Anne, associated with her work teaching handicrafts to disabled adults.

On her 90th birthday, Grace asked for a glider flight and loved it so much, she did it again two years later.

Family and friends, including Grace’s daughters Kay Wiggins and Lin Simonon, Helen and Grace’s other granddaughter Clare Wiggins, and her four great-grandchildren, Helena, 16, Emily, 14, Molly, eight, and Ada, six, have sent their warmest congratulations for a very happy centenary birthday.

Grace Farestvedt with her great-granddaughter Ada

Helen said: “Unfortunately, the pandemic has scuppered the party plans for this year but she hopes to make up for it at 101.”

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Grace Farestvedt with her granddaughter Helen

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Grace Farestvedt with her great-granddaughter Molly