- Jewish Gilroes - http://jewish-gilroes.org.uk -

Nancie and Edward Shieff – and it all began with a raffle ticket

Legend has it that Nancie was selling raffle tickets at a Board of Guardians Ball when Edward said he would buy ‘the whole lot in exchange for one dance’.

Edward and Nancie were born and brought up in Glasgow. By 1948 Edward had taken up a position as a chest physician in Birmingham at the commencement of the National Health Service. The couple settled in Birmingham and stayed for nearly fifty years. As a young woman Nancie had worked in a music shop and taught piano. Her second career took off in the late 1960s when she entered the antiques world, exhibiting around the country. She specialised in silver and jewellery and her experience led her to be invited to be a vetter at a number of fairs.

Although Nancie and Edward were active members of Singers Hill Synagogue, involved with several societies within the Jewish and wider community, in 1997 they made the decision to move to Leicester to be near their daughter, Leonie, and her family. At the time of their passing Leonie wrote the following tribute to her parents:

I remember my Mother in particular for the sheer adoration she bestowed upon me, for her wonderful sense of fashion and gorgeous hats, for her love of music and her piano playing, for her keen eye in purchasing beautiful items of silver, jewellery, furniture and much else, for her good business skills, her tremendous sense of fun and her love of travel. She loved people and made many good lifelong friends. I remember her too for her sheer bravery and strength of character in the face of adversity. I remember her devotion to my Father whom she looked after so lovingly for the entire 61 years of their married life.

I remember my Father for his smart appearance nearly always in an immaculate suit – even while gardening. Everyone admired his beautiful front garden and we often teased him that his lawn looked like green carpet that he rolled up at night! I have fond memories of how he cared for his patients, especially the children, and how he was a popular member of his team. Above all, I remember him for his quiet, sweet demeanour, his wisdom and patience, his love of family and the twinkle in his eye.

Edward would often call Nancie his Eshet Chayil, ‘a Woman of Worth’. Their romance was lived out until the end. Edward was unable to carry on without the love of his life by his side. In 2004 he died within one week of Nancie’s passing.

Return to Stories [1]