Longtime Shoalhaven resident and well-known singing teacher Deirdre Sedman passed away peacefully after a short illness on April 7, aged 76, with family at her bedside.
Deirdre died of a very rare brain disease and was cared for in the last few weeks by family.
The daughter of Adelle and Nial Purtell, Deirdre was born on October 26, 1943 and grew up in the Sydney suburb of Concord.
In her teens, she studied piano and singing in the classical Bell canto style, attended the June Dally Watkins School of Deportment and Modelling and was a contestant in the Miss Australia contest.
She married Richard Sedman in 1964 and they moved to Vincentia with their four boys in the 1970s where she taught scripture at Sanctuary Point Primary School.
Dierdre and Richard joined the Albatross Gilbert and Sullivan Society and had many leading roles in productions.
In 1985 the family moved to Darwin and again in the 1990s to Port Macquarie.
Deirdre always stayed involved in the Catholic Church, playing the organ and singing at mass and at aged care facilities, teaching scripture at schools and doing missionary work with the Canossian Sisters.
Deirdre and Richard moved back to the Shoalhaven about 2002 and began singing at the Holy Spirit Church at Vincentia.
They also joined the choir, Singing Australia.
Deirdre began giving singing lessons and one of her students Natalie Abbott went on to land the starring role in the stage production of Muriel's Wedding.
She was also a gifted artist and did many beautiful oil paintings.
Deirdre led a life full of music and will be sadly missed by her husband and four sons and their families, her sister, two brothers and many friends.
A memorial service will be held at a date after the current lockdown period.