Sheena Pipkin (née Waddell)

(Guy’s, Dentistry, 1985)

A caring dentist with a genuine concern for others.

Sheena was born in Dulwich on 23 March 1962 to Bill and Thelma and grew up in Dulwich and in Virginia Beach, USA with her brother Neil. She came to Guy’s in 1980 to study Dentistry. In those days, students had to bring evidence of their manual dexterity to their interview, and she brought with her samples of her exquisite needlework. She was, and continued to be, skilful with the needle and was an expert quilter.

As a student, Sheena is remembered by her dental friends for her entertaining anecdotes round the lab benches while making crowns and dentures, and sharing the latest disasters together – before being let loose on an unsuspecting public!

Those same friends will also remember Simon – or Si, as he was known to all. From the moment Sheena set eyes on him, it was love at first sight. They met while still at school. Sheena adored him and she was, in turn, loved and adored by him. Si trained to become a pilot in the navy, so Sheena often travelled long distances to be with him at the weekends. They married at the Royal Naval College shortly after Sheena qualified and had their reception at the Robens Suite of Guy’s Tower.

After their move to Cornwall, Sheena worked in general dental practice. The arrival of their children, Alexander and then Abigail, soon completed the family.

When the family moved to Shropshire in 1999, Sheena joined the Shropshire Community Dental Service. By the time she retired as a Senior Dental Officer, her work encompassed special care, prisons, young offenders’ institutes, mental health units and domiciliary visits to care homes. Her ability to put people at ease and her genuine interest in others, which was so evident to her friends and family, made her a natural fit for working with people who would otherwise have struggled to access dental services.

Sheena will always be remembered for her understanding and unmeasurable kindness, her fun-loving nature, and her genuine care for and generosity with others. She was truly loved and is sorely missed by her family and all those who knew her.

Sheena passed away on 7 January 2023 aged 60, following a long struggle with ill health. Thank you to Sheena’s family, Reverend Tom Atfield, and Sheena’s long-time friend and fellow dental student Sue Young (Guy’s, Dentistry, 1984) for providing us with this obituary.