Tributes have been paid to Sheila Gow, pictured left, who spent 54 years with the Courier Media Group, in Kent and Sussex, and was responsible for training generations of young reporters.
Sheila started her career as a trainee reporter on the Tonbridge edition of the Kent and Sussex Courier and worked on many of the group’s titles, including a lengthy stint in Edenbridge.
Even after leaving full-time work at 65, she continued to report on East Grinstead on a part-time basis and was nominated for the MBE in the 2010 New Years Honours list.
Sheila was diagnosed with terminal cancer three years ago and passed away on 30 December, just short of five years to the day since her award was announced.
Former East Grinstead Courier editor Geraldine Durrant paid tribute to her colleague.
She said: “We became not only colleagues but dear friends, a friendship which endured for the remainder of Sheila’s life.
“Sheila was much-loved by everyone who knew her and never a young reporter’s birthday went by but she baked one of her famous cakes to celebrate it in the office.
“She was also much-respected – an accolade not always accorded people in our profession.
“Her knowledge of the town and its history was extraordinary and irreplaceable, her accuracy in reporting unparalleled – and she could spot a misplaced apostrophe at 20 paces.
“But if she reported with tenacity, she was also personally and professionally kind and courteous – one of those people of whom it could truly be said that had there been more of them, the world would indeed be a better place.”
Sheila leaves behind her husband Peter, son Duncan, daughter Melanie and their families.
Her funeral will take place on Thursday at 3pm at St Peter’s church, Fordcombe, Kent.
There will be a short service at the Tunbridge Wells crematorium at 4pm for close friends and family only.