By Euro Weekly News Media • 04 July 2013 • 7:34
MANY residents of the Costa del Sol are in shock and mourning over the tragic death of a family.
Friends and acquaintances of Philip Wood, 56, wife Sheila 54 and their daughter Sophie, 28, have left loving and moving tributes to the family, whose lives were touched by tragedy. Sophie suffered from Cerebral Palsy, Sheila had battled cancer.
But they were well known for their big hearts and generosity of spirit. Tributes have poured in to the family, described as loving and devoted.
Long-time friend Nick Holland-Morgan leads the tributes to the popular family
“I still can’t believe I am actually sat here writing about the tragic deaths of a dear friend, her doting husband and their darling daughter.
Last Wednesday evening at around 7.30pm saw the newsflash that a family of three had died together in Torrenueva, Mijas Costa. The shocked realisation within minutes and before names had been released that it could only be our good friends Sheila, her husband Philip and daughter Sophie led me to pick up the phone immediately to call them, in the desperate hope it was not actually them; I phoned six times but of course there was no answer.
In the minutes, hours and days that followed we have all been totally overwhelmed by the outpouring of grief, love and kindness shown towards Sheila, Philip, Sophie their families and all their friends.
What follows, written by friends, many distant from the shores of Southern Spain, and as far away as Canada and Australia, I think is pure testament, personal tributes from those who knew them best; the sentiments repeatedly echoed alongside literally hundreds of similar messages and posts on Facebook, a place where Sheila in particular had built a very big circle of friends over the years. So I need not write more myself other than to add my own personal tribute:-
“Sheila, you were one of my best friends; loving, considerate, compassionate, selfless, dignified, fun and funny, and a devoted mother and wife who still always smiled and persevered in the face of extreme adversity.
“I just hope I can repay your special friendship by now doing what I believe you would ask of me and to fulfil the trust you always had in me as your friend. I am just sorry and so sad I could not have done more for you when you were still with us. I love you, I miss you; you will always be in my thoughts and prayers.
“A family member referred to you Philip and your darling Sophie as The Three Musketeers; you did everything together, you did everything for each other, and now you are all at peace together. To quote one of your last Facebook posts: ‘She who leaves a trail of glitter is never forgotten’. Neither I nor countless others will ever forget you, Sláinte my dear friend, keep that champagne on ice for me! With love, Nick xxx” – Nick Holland-Morgan
“Sheila, Philip and Sophie, you were such a devoted, loving, caring family and always so supportive of us in every way. To find the right words is impossible, so I will let someone else say it for me. Sophie we always chatted about what a big fan of the TV programme‘Glee’ you were, so I hope this song from ‘A Chorus Line’is OK! – love Steve xxx
‘Kiss today goodbye, the sweetness and the sorrow. Wish me luck, the same to you.
But I can’t regret what I did for love, what I did for love.
Look my eyes are dry. The gift was ours to borrow. It’s as if we always knew,
And I won’t forget what I did for love, what I did for love.
Gone, Love is never gone. As we travel on, love’s what we’ll remember.
Kiss today goodbye, and point me t’ward tomorrow. We did what we had to do.
Won’t forget, can’t regret what I did for love, what I did for love.
Love is never gone as we travel on love’s what we’ll remember’
(What I Did For Love – A Chorus Line)” – Stephen Lloyd-Morgan
“This lovely woman will be greatly missed, always helping people even though she had plenty of sorrow herself she helped me though the death of my husband and lit up my life every day. R.I.P. Sheila and her family together for ever all my love.” – Jean Shinerock
“My Dear Sheila, Your soft Irish beauty, your warmth and generosity, your sense of fun.
Happy memories of lunches and champagne cocktails in Cabopino; breakfasts of pancakes and maple syrup in Centro Plaza; and long lovely dinners in Benahavis.
“My Darling Sophie, your shy beautiful smile, your Barbie and Glee stickers and the thank you cards you lovingly made that I’m glad I kept; your precious cats and genuine love for all animals.
“And Philip who adored his ‘girls’. A marriage of true love and devotion, tirelessly caring for each other in spite of all the difficulties you faced. We will never forget you, dear friends, and may you now rest in peace together, forever. With our love,” – Clive and Joan Boardman
“We listened, but didn’t hear… we saw, but didn’t see… we cared, but didn’t act… and now you sleep, and we repent… but your Irish birth would not like us to… so tomorrow, not today, we’ll raise a glass or two… rest in peace dear Sheila, Philip, and darling Sophie… Heavens gates, and our friend Emma, are awaiting you…RVW…xxx” – Richard Valentine Whaley
“It was my privilege to have known Philip, Sheila and Sophie. They were a united, loving and lovely family; their love for each other was evident in every way.
“Through the time I knew them, I became very close. Sheila and I would chat every week, Sophie and I had an ‘animal’ thing going, which gave me great pleasure to send her, and I loved having photos of purple flowers each week sent from her with her comments.
“Philip and I played golf together occasionally where he and I laughed at the doings of the world and it saddens me tremendously that this loving family is not with us any more. I can only hope and pray that they are united now, as they were on earth.
“You will be tremendously missed by SO many people, many of whom you never met, and it is a measure of the regard you were held in, that an outpouring of grief like this has happened. R.I.P. my very dear friends” – Alia Babapulle
“No words can replace the loss, thank you for the happier times we shared.We haven’t said goodbye, just waiting for the next time we meet.” – Mal Watson
“This is how we remember you Sheila – glamorous, big-hearted, romantic. May you and your little family rest in peace. Love always from Penny, Steve, Isaac and Freya.”- Penny Thompson and family
“Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel on the tragic loss of Sheila, Philip and Sophie. Our hearts go out to their family in their time of sorrow. Peace, prayers and blessings from Claudia and all at Forum Hair and Beauty Spa.” – Claudia Lonsdale
“I would just like to say that Sheila was a great Facebook friend, a very loving mother and wife, and so supportive of me and my wife Bev whenever Bev was going for her quarterly check-up.
“Sheila was there, always remembering roughly when Bev was due for her clinic. She encouraged me with my singing and always prayed for me to get a ‘break’ in the business. She hardly ever complained about her ill-health and was always more concerned about others around her. She is a tragic loss, not only as a friend but also as a wonderful human being.” – Don Wilson
“I fondly remember the first time I met Sheila at the Don Carlos when Stephen Lloyd-Morgan was singing to a dinner party. We were, of course, already friends, although we had never met.
“Sheila had many Facebook friends, and these soon became close friends as she ventured out to meet them in real life. Her shyness and style were divine.
“Soon I met her husband Philip, and her daughter Sophie, and realised what a wonderful family they were. I joined Sheila for her birthday, just the three of us, and they would sometimes come out for dinner when they could manage a sitter for Sophie.
“Like many people, times were tough for the Wood family. Sophie needed constant care, and Philip struggled with his business. Sheila in later life suffered from ill health.
“Despite all this, they were always full of optimism, pride and dignity. I am very sad at how their lives have ended, and wish them peace in their new world, unhindered and unburdened from the cruel scenario they found themselves in here.
“God bless you all. RIP Sheila, Philip and Sophie, my thoughts are with you.”- Nigel Goldman
“For some moments in life there are no words. The sad loss of a loving family. Keep those Irish eyes smiling Sheila, you were a true inspiration, may you all rest in peace. All our love Lindsey, Jon, Janet & Roger xxx” – Lindsey Wood
“An absolute terrible tragedy for a family who will always be remembered here. I had the pleasure of meeting Sheila, a lady through and through, and always with a beautiful smile and a lovely nature. May none judge because nobody lived your lives. I pray you all rest in peace now, gone but never forgotten. X” – Teresa Leaver
“I only knew Sheila and Sophie within the Facebook family but felt an immediate rapport with them, especially Sheila with whom I shared a similar kind of humour. A gentle funny lady with a big heart. One reassuring thought within this tragedy is that Sheila, Philip and Sophie will still be together. God Bless them and keep them.” –Valerie Wood
“R.I.P. Philip, Sheila and Sophie a lovely family that will be sadly missed.” – Tracy Jackson
“Sheila, This comes from the heart as I sit here trying to come to terms with the fact that you are no longer around to share with me my good times, bad times, laughter and tears.
“Heaven really has gained an angel with you my lovely lady, and I pray you are now at peace, and rested with your beautiful girl Sophie, and darling husband Philip.
“Thank you for being my friend – your guidance and support will be forever appreciated, and you will be forever in my heart. Never forgotten – Sheila, Sophie and Philip. All our love, Suzanne, Olivia, Miles, Roman and Mason xxxxxx” – Suzanne Kellett and family.
“One day I didn’t know her, the next we were friends. I imagine lots of people fell under her spell like that.
“She just appeared on Facebook, and said hello, and chatted with me. My daughter has been very ill, and Sheila found time to send me messages of encouragement and support.
“That was typical of her, finding time for others, while keeping her own pain to herself. I never met her, yet will miss her greatly, and I hope and pray that the three loving members of the family are together now, smiling down on us. RIP Sheila, you were a star, and always will be.” – Claus Capes
“Sheila and her family were like many of us ex pats in Spain, moving for a better quality of life. We enjoyed the good times and we all suffered the hard times. It’s hard to put into words how sad her death is, she was a very special person and helped me incredibly when I fell out of love with Spain and gave very wise words.
“I looked forward to her comments on my postings and her many status updates. It’s incredibly upsetting knowing she gave such good advice to others, but she suffered in silence.
“For me the world will be a poorer place, but there will be a new bright star in the sky and I look forward to giving her a big hug.” – Clive Wilkinson
“Such a lovely lady with a beautiful heart, may we see you glisten and sparkle amongst the stars, you will be missed dearly xxx”- Elisa Costelloe
“They were an extremely kind caring family they would try and do anything for you if they could. They cherished their friends and family.
“Phil and Sheila idolised their beautiful daughter Sophie who was always their main priority. At times due to Sheila’s illnesses Philip was Sheila and Sophie’s constant carer and had a lot on his plate, always working trying to support his family as well as love and take care of them.
“Phil was a kind caring man who deeply loved his family and would do anything in his power for them. Sheila would always make you feel beautiful about yourself; she had the kindest words to brighten up your day.
“She was very thoughtful and put a personal touch into everything she did. Sophie had a lovely caring nature, she was loved by all.
“When you were Sophie’s friend you were her friend for life. Sophie will always have a huge place in my heart RIP. I love you. Sadly for us God has gained three beautiful angels … RIP. My memories with you will never be forgotten. Leonie and family xx” – Leonie Russell
“I only ever met Sheila online, but I always felt her warmth, kindness and support” -Rowetta
“Only got to meet you the once at Samantha’s wake, but it only took the one time to know how much of an amazing lady you were and how much love you had for Sophie. Sleep tight.” – Kriztianne Hardy
“Philip, Sheila and Sophie, a devoted family at peace together forever.”– Kath and Jim Dillon
“A very loving family, Philip worshipped Sheila and Sophie. They were good friends of ours; sadly we lost touch over the last few years.
“But we have fond memories of our time spent with them! Lunch dates with Sheila; golf days with Philip. Our thoughts are with the families at such a devastating time. X” – Amanda Shilliam
“Hello Sheila, sadly I never met you even though we were friends on Facebook. Now you are an angel in heaven and when we look up at the skies at night we all know that you will be there. God Bless my lovely friend.” – Geraldine Forster
“Sheila, a fragile little woman with such a big heart, her world falling apart, she turned to me, the older man, for strength to get through the days.
“Although my own problems were nonexistent compared to hers, she ended up giving me strength, made me believe that not all is bad in this world, there is goodness, there was her.
“I never met this wonderful kind women, yet since I learnt of her tragic death, I weep. I shall never forget you Sheila, rest in peace dearest.” -Victor Melik
“On Nov 22, 2012, I had the honour of friending Sheila via Facebook. We shared many common interests and one was what it is like being a caregiver to a loved one.
“Sheila sent me a picture of her mom (Mollie), niece and niece’s daughter for a video I was working on called ‘Alzheimer’s/Dementia Knows No Borders’ which can be found on YouTube.
“I would like to honour Sheila by informing everyone of this video here. You Sheila took care of your mom and your daughter Sophie.
“I would like to say you are what caregiving is all about. You have touched many lives; you have touched my life here in Canada.Rest in peace in Heaven. Your mom will be there to take care of your family. I feel so blessed in getting to know you.” – BakhasSaba
“Sheila we met because you asked for my help over something that was so distressing you. We chewed it over in our little Piscean ways, so you could end up laughing over it, and we became good friends. But Girlfriend you forgot to ask for my help this time! This is distressing me greatly, missing you with tears and sending vibrational love to wherever you are, Katherine” – Katherine Cooper
“Even though I never had the opportunity to meet her in person, but had hoped to later this summer in Spain. I will miss her terribly! I will miss her Facebook pokes, her comments and her nice words to me and everyone. RIP dear, sweet friend. I will miss you.” – Ana Mtz. Abascal
“Such a special lady that evidently made everyone feel special.” – Nicola Erlich
“To a very special beautiful soul, may you and your family rest in peace.” – Laura Charles
“Sheila; your ever smiling face and hearty sense of humour made our Friday lunches a real hoot! Our ‘wine o’clock time’ banter made us all ache with laughter and feel really close to each other.
“I have very fond memories of our silliness indeed. Thank you for your loyal friendship sweetheart. x.
“Philip; It was a pleasure to be in your company, a true gentleman, kind, compassionate and sincere and a devoted loving father and husband.
“Your love of golf gave us the chance to have a good old natter on many occasions. x.
“Sophie; a loving young lady with a heart of gold. Your love of cats, horses and all things cute and furry kept us chatting and oohing and ahhing for hours on end. It was a delight to be your friend Sophie x.” – Andrea Elul
“Brought together on Facebook by a common tragedy – dementia in a loved-one – we instantly had a common bond and rapport.
“For Sheila it was the loss of her mum, for me it was my husband (still alive). We understood, implicitly, each other’s pain. So the bond grew.
“Sheila, I was stunned at just how much you had been through, were still going through and was amazed at your inner strength, energy, positive attitude, wisdom and intuition.
“You were a shining light, an inspiration and I learned from you. This is your legacy. You were a wonderful mum to Sophie, devoted in every way.
“Your loving spirit also extended to my kids too; only I know just to what extent.
“Sophie, a beautiful person, you shared your mum’s generous caring, thoughtfulness of others, and her love of life. Your mum gave a lovely description to me, of the two of you dancing to a music clip I’d sent you from ‘Happy Feet’; it was upbeat, exuberant and joyful, just like yourselves.
“It was a privilege having you in my life. Always will I treasure the hand-made card you sent me. Never will I forget you. Thank you, my friends.” – Jude Hunt
“Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!”
Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral
– contributed by Marcel Ebéné
Steve and Nick Holland-Morgan dedicate their concert “Music of the Night” at this year’s Starlite Festival Marbella at 10pm on July 30 to the memory of Sheila, Philip and Sophie. Entrance is free.
At the time of going to press we have no information regarding any funeral or memorial services.
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