by Geoffrey Churchman
This morning Eva and I went to the funeral of our until-last-Friday next-door neighbour Judith Wheeler. Although we were aware she was an accomplished pianist, we didn’t know the extent of her renown until we heard the eulogies, particularly the mention of the years she spent in Paris and in southern Germany in the late 1950s and early 1960s under her maiden name of Judith McDonald. Glowing reviews of her performances in the Stuttgarter and Nürnberger of works by famous composers from the region such as Mozart, Bach and Beethoven aren’t something you get easily.
Before the service a CD of a piano duet recorded with a friend was playing, and achieving that level of perfection requires some dedication.
As well as giving piano lessons to a few of my cousins, we knew her as someone who was always cheerful, good natured and considerate, and are going to miss seeing her around.
Her grave is in Waikanae cemetery. She is survived by her husband Brian, four sons and several grandchildren.