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An ode to Joy: Nova Scotia centenarian dies at 105

Centenarian Joy Saunders is pictured in Lunenburg, N.S. Centenarian Joy Saunders is pictured in Lunenburg, N.S.
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A 105-year-old woman from Lunenburg, N.S., who was an inspiration to many during the pandemic, has died.

Joy Saunders made headlines in 2020 when she walked 102 laps around her neighbourhood to mark her 102nd birthday and raise over $80,000 for the Victorian Order of Nurses, a group she once worked for.

“I still had my legs, they still worked, so I did it,” said Saunders at the time. “I’m glad I did something good at the end of my life.”

Saunders’ contribution went far beyond the monetary, according to her friend and former CTV Atlantic host Nancy Regan.

“She heard from hundreds of VON members that she had given them hope and made them feel seen at a supremely stressful time,” said Regan in an email.

In 2021, Saunders was awarded The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in recognition of her volunteer contributions with the VON.

Born during the First World War, Saunders lived through both World Wars, the Great Depression and global pandemics.

She believed if we are to live well, we must care for one another, especially during difficult days.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Ceilidh Millar.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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