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Star poet dies peacefully

PUBLISHED: 02:00 06 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:57 03 March 2010

TRIBUTES have been paid today to a devoted Ipswich ex-teacher and poet who died from cancer after suffering tragedy during her life.

Ena Shortland, 94, died at Norwood House residential home in Park Road, Ipswich, on Tuesday, three weeks after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

TRIBUTES have been paid today to a devoted Ipswich ex-teacher and poet who died from cancer after suffering tragedy during her life.

Ena Shortland, 94, died at Norwood House residential home in Park Road, Ipswich, on Tuesday, three weeks after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was a regular contributor of poems to the Evening Star on a range of topical subjects.

Born at Mendlesham Green to farmers Olive and Abraham Hunt, Mrs Shortland was one of six brothers and sisters.

She married her husband Bertram at Mendlesham Church in 1945. However, the couple only spent a few days together before Mr Shortland went off to fight in the war and never returned.

Mrs Shortland spent the rest of her life devoted to teaching and never re-married. Consequently she didn't have any children, but her siblings provided her with five nieces and three nephews that she adored.

Niece Ann Richardson, 66, said: "She was a wonderful, lively lady who will be missed by her friends and family and a lot of people from the community. A lot of her old school pupils will miss her a great deal."

She began teaching at Bramford Primary School, then moved to Ranelagh Road Primary before becoming deputy head at Castle Hill Primary. She retired at the age of 60.

Mrs Shortland was member of St Thomas' Church, the British Legion and joined an Esperanto group where she learned the language and went joined in on the group holidays.

She travelled all over the world on her own, venturing to New Zealand when she was 80. She was still driving up until the age of 90.

The funeral will be held on June 13 at St Thomas' Church in Ipswich.

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