Saturday 21 September 2019

Shop worker Sheila was a real lady

WEXFORD lost a genuine lady recently with the sad passing of Sheila Bent.

Sheila ( nee Codd) died at Kerlogue Nursing Home on January 11.

Born on April 6, 1923, Sheila was the only daughter of Richard and Mary Codd of Parnell Street, Wexford.

She had six brothers and is survived by John, The Ballagh, and Micker and Eamonn, who live in Chicago. She is predeceased by Billy, Richie and Stephen.

As a child, Sheila grew up between the doors of 34 Parnell Street, where her own parents lived, and 54 Parnell Street, where she was looked after by her aunt and uncle, Cassie and Eddie Kehoe.

Sim Hore's Radio House was Sheila's first employer and she held the position of Senior Sales Assistant.

By modern standards the wages might seem quite frugal, but Sheila was always made it stretch to allow her buy the fashionable clothes she loved.

A popular young lady and blessed with a fine voice, Sheila was a member of The Friary Choir and also took part in some of the early pantomimes in Wexford town.

In the mid-1940s, Sheila met Richard ( Dick) Bent of Swan View and they married on September 11, 1948.

Their wedding day was a very special occasion, not only for them, but for the whole community. They were the first couple to be allowed stand on the centre altar of The Church of the Assumption, Bride Street, to be married.

Prior to this, weddings were small affairs which took place at the side altar of the church. However, Sheila and Dick's wedding was more like the lavish white weddings seen nowadays.

Indeed, it was such a momentous occasion that the nuns of the enclosed Adoration Convent were allowed to leave the convent to watch the ceremony.

Following the birth of their only son Liam, the family moved to Corry's Villas in Wexford, where Sheila enjoyed the role of wife and mother.

A few years later her daughter, Angela, was born and after that came Ann, whom she fostered and raised as her own, and Audrey, who was adopted.

Her husband Dick predeceased Sheila by almost 33 years, as he passed away in April 1978, and it was around that time that she returned to work.

For many years she helped to run Nolan's Sweet Shop in Redmond Square. The shop was always busy with people getting the trains or buses from O'Hanrahan Station and Sheila was well-known and well-liked by all the customers.

Following that, Sheila worked in Nangle's bakery and restaurant.

In the early ' 90s, Sheila moved from Corry's Villas to live beside her son in Coolree and took to 'country' life with relish. She loved to sit and watch the wildlife and enjoy the changing seasons around her.

At that time, her son Liam ran the corner shop in Talbot Green and Sheila was a regular installation behind the counter. She always enjoyed a chat with the regular customers from the neighbourhood and became a surrogate ' nana' to many of the children who visited for their penny sweets after school.

In January 2010, following battles with ill health, Sheila went to stay in Kerlogue Nursing Home, following a short stay at Carrig Tur in Enniscorthy. She was wellknown and well-regarded by the other residents, their families and all the nursing and caring staff.

Although Sheila was a reserved person by nature, she had a wit and charm that endeared her to many and a straightforward manner that garnered their respect.

Above all, she loved her family. She was very proud of all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and would often speak fondly of them. She is deeply mourned by all her family and friends.

Her remains were removed to The Church of The Assumption, Bride Street, where her Requiem Mass was celebrated by Fr Aodhán Marken. She was laid to rest in St Ibar's Cemetery, Crosstown.

Deepest sympathy is extended to her family; her son Liam Bent, Coolree; her daughters Angela Byrne, Barntown, Ann Halligan, Limerick, and Audrey Bent, Clonard; her brothers John Codd, The Ballagh, Micker and Eamonn Codd, Chicago; her daughterin-law Marie Bent; her son-in-law Billy Halligan; her grandchildren, great grandchildren, her relatives and friends.

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