Jenny was my partner in science practicals for my last two years at university. We sat next to each other on graduation day (mid-1970s!) but that was the last time I ever saw her. She has never been mentioned in the Old Students’ Magazine and has never, as far as I know, attended the once a decade reunions held for our cohort. I see from her obituary that she a very successful career in Australia with a whole string of peer-reviewed publications to her credit. She never married but it seems she had a partner of many years standing. It is a bit of shock when your contemporaries start dying off!
I graduated in 1989..... shocked to be told I'd need bi-focals soon and noticed that DH who has always had famously good eye-sight now holds things at arm's length to read too. Our 'thing' is contemporaries who get serious health problems, usually cancer, but two cases of heart-disease. And nearly everyone has either lost a parent or has a parent in poor health.
It's often struck me that it must be poor to be very elderly (much much older than you - goes without saying ) and potentially be the only surviving sibling or friend. Am I cheering you up? Though not, sorry.
Sorry to hear about your practicals partner.
Btw I heard that the fifties and sixties are supposed to be a stage of feeling contented and not needing as much external validation as when you were younger.....