A STALWART lady who served for more than 60 years at historic Newport department store Wildings has died.

Nina White, 85, who in her later years resided at Watery Lane in the Langstone area of the city, was a well known and respected worker at department store Wildings to which she devoted much of her life.

Born in Newport in 1929, Miss White never married or had children, but had many close friends in the city both in and out of the business.

An only child, Miss White had no family and lived alone, becoming good friends with her neighbours Brian and Myrtle Roberts.

Miss White, who died of natural causes at her home in Newport on March 30, joined the company aged 14 in 1943 as a junior in the office at a starting salary of 15 shillings (or 75p) per week.

In 1955 she was made secretary to managing director Mr Fred Wilding and in 1973 she fulfilled this role for managing director Sheldon James until his retirement in 1995.

Managing director of Wildings Peter James said that he knew Miss White since he was a young boy.

“She was a tremendously loyal servant to Wildings, her association with the business lasting for more than six decades,” he said.

“Nina continued to work one day a week for us after her retirement in 1994.

“It was only when ill health stopped her coming into town that she stopped work all together in 2007.

“She was a very straight-forward, no-nonsense type, but in a friendly way.

“She just got on with things very efficiently and she was a very capable, self-sufficient person, who was very private.

“Her privileged position meant that she was privy to much sensitive information which she always dealt with in a no nonsense manner,” Mr James added.

“Not once in her 63 year association did anything leak out.

“Her commitment to the business was total and she was a wonderful ambassador when dealing with our suppliers and customers.

“Brain, her neighbour, told me that he took her a copy of the Argus last week and showed her the article by Laura Lea about our plans for the future.

“He said that she was delighted with the news.

“To a great extent Wildings was her life.

“We will miss her greatly.”