Joy and sadness for Heathfield family

Henry and Pat Henty
Henry and Pat Henty

A devoted family man from Heathfield celebrated his 100th birthday just nine days after his wife tragically died.

Henry Henty and his wife Pat had lived at Waldron Thorns and were one of the first families to move into the road.

Waldron Thorns was one of the first roads of (initially) local authority properties built from 1949 up until the 1950s.

They had four children, John, Sue, Nicky and Paul, 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Mr Henty was treated to a birthday party at The Yew Tree, Chalvington, by his family, including grandchild Sarah who came over from Australia.

A speech about his first 50 years was made by John and the most recent 50 years by Paul. His birthday cake was in the shape of a Teacher’s Whisky bottle, his favourite tipple.

His daughter, Sue Wren, said her father worked for drinks firm Canada Dry, Wealden District Council and French’s of Heathfield.

After his retirement he took enormous pleasure in driving children to and from Grove Park special school in Crowborough. She said: “He was devoted to my mum and our family but he would also do anything to help in the community. He was - and is still - very much loved.”

Mrs Pat Henty died on July 4 aged 87 after a short illness. As well as her busy family life, Mrs Henty had many jobs in the town including a spell helping with administration at Heathfield Library, where she loved the social aspect and meeting people.

After her own retirement she had been closely involved with the management committee of Heathfield Youth Centre, setting up the Community Association for the Community Centre, taking part in activities at both Cross-in-Hand Young Wives group and the Cross-in-Hand Women’s Institute.

Born in South London, she had lived in Broad Oak before moving to Waldron Thorns. Sue said: “Everyone absolutely adored her. She was very caring, a wonderful mother and loyal friend. She will be sadly missed by her family and friends as she was a loving, and thoughtful person and an inspiration to us all.”

Her funeral was held at All Saints Parish Church, Waldron, at noon last Monday.