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Shelagh Penhale

A tribute from the committee and membership:

Shelagh was a highly valued member of our U3A and she was indeed a great asset to the U3A movement, attending the U3A Trust's AGM, going to conferences and regional events just out of personal interest.

Shelagh didn't join the U3A just to be entertained, but gave herself fully to promoting and supporting her U3A.

If there was a 'perfect U3A member' then that was Shelagh - she gave so very much and you could see that she gained so much from her joy in learning and friendships created.

A tribute from Sheila Brotherton:

Shelagh and I go back a long way as we both worked in the Local Authority Social Services department based at the City Hospital for many years. Shelagh was in the adult care team and covered the Stroke Unit in the main. I was part of the child care team. We had contact at Departmental meetings and on social occasions within the Social Work setting.  I remember often picking her brains on the subject of Welfare Rights issues as she was very knowledgeable in this field.  

We renewed and strengthened our friendship after retirement when we came into contact again via the U3A choir. We met on a cold day on the steps of the draughty old Church in Castle Gate where practices were then held.  I had plucked up courage to attend a choir practice on my own for the first time. Shelagh was standing at the top of the steps, and I will never forget the delight on her face when she saw me and the warm welcome she gave me.

We spent quite a lot of time together after that fortuitous meeting, attending various classes and U3A events, but it will be as choir buddies that I will remember her best.  We were known as the "2 Sheilaghs" and we loved singing together!  We often had to share the same sheet of music as I was not as orderly as Shelagh, who always had the right music in the right order.....and I didn't! She would raise her eyebrows at me and give me a wry smile.  And so we sang, shoulder to shoulder, happily together, in harmony.

For as long as I am fit and able to attend choir then she will always be by my side and in my heart. 

A tribute from Jan Bridgeman:

I knew Shelagh for nine years through the U3A Singing Group and coffee meetings afterwards. As my daughter has arthritis we had many long discussions about that but she always looked on the positive side and our conversations were filled with much laughter too.

Shelagh’s welcoming smile was a gift that brightened your day; a genuine and lovely person who was really caring and considerate of others. 

She had great listening skills and always made you feel you had her full attention and that she really cared; a rare gift.  

I have missed her and will always miss her. The light she gave will shine on in those who knew her.