Noelle Benda Whitehead

Noelle Benda Whitehead 1904-

Born: 18 Dec 1904
Father:Charles Basil Whitehead
Mother:Ethel Maude Little
Spouse:Arthur Richards
Married: 06 Sep 1927 St. Mary's Church, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya
Children:Diana Richards, Fraser Richards, Michael Richards
Occupation:Lady Milverton
Updated: 30 Aug 1999


Benda went to join her father in Penang in 1921, shortly after Olga and Stella had returned to the UK with Aunt Nell. Not long after this Benda met Arthur.

Much of Benda's life can be found from reading about Arthur, but she was a very special lady in her own right who could be described as 'The Grand Old Lady of the Family' at the time of compiling this history in the late 1990s.

She has the most amazing energy and capacity for life. As I (Michael Otway) write this, we have returned from dinner last night with my father, aged 80, his wife Jeannie, aged 60, and Benda aged 90. Both father and Benda are in excellent health with all their faculties. He had this week been cutting branches off trees in the garden at their home in Tadworth, perched on a ladder. Benda had flown in that morning from a holiday in Grand Cayman and, despite a transatlantic flight, was full of conversation and chat, her only impairment being slight hearing difficulties.

In her late seventies she took up art with some degree of success, relearnt the piano and traveled the world to see her friends. She was still driving aged 94, to the concern of her family and, as if that was not enough, had three boyfriends with ages ranging from 65 upwards!

She maintained an excited interest in the family of whatever age and could talk to the teenagers about their interests with ease. On one occasion when visiting her with my children Mark and Claire aged about 16 and 19 (Benda was then about 84), they were all on their knees on the floor comparing their various artistic efforts.

She is a lady of charm and grace, a very special person to all the family.

ID: 69   Generated by GedTree on 27 Aug 2002

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