Felixstowe/Ipswich: Family in moving tribute to courageous teacher Alison

BRILLIANT, caring and understanding.

Those were the sentiments used to describe a popular teacher who died after a courageous nine-month battle with cancer.

Alison Coates, a teacher at Langer Academy, in Felixstowe, died at her home in Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, on June 22.

She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September.

Alison, 56, had been teaching at the school for 16 years. She had been due to become the deputy headteacher before she fell ill.

Alison’s husband, Pete, 58, described his wife as hugely popular and extremely hardworking. He also thanked those who treated Alison, and family friends who have supported him and his daughter, Laura.

“She was brilliant, she was caring, understanding, hard working and she put up with my awful sense of humour,” he said.

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“Her friends have always regarded her very warmly as someone they could talk to about anything.

“I would like to thank the oncology team at Ipswich Hospital, everyone that has given us support since her death and the railway at Westerfield for their buffet (after the funeral).”

Alison specialised in sport and in 2003 she was recognised for her work as a teacher when she was awarded the national Gerald Murray prize for excellence in PE.

Her first job as a teacher was at Holbrook High School. She then moved into the travel industry before returning to teaching in 1995.

Alison’s daughter Laura, 22, added: “If you had seen her while she was on the first lot of chemo you wouldn’t have thought there was anything wrong with her.

“Before she was ill, she was a very healthy person. How can somebody so healthy end up with such a horrible thing?

“She was very encouraging and supportive, you couldn’t ask for somebody to do anything more. If you needed anything, she would be there.”

Alison’s funeral was held on Friday. Langer Academy was closed for the day as teachers attended the funeral.

? Would you like to send a message of support to Pete and Laura? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, IP4 1AN, or send an e-mail to starletters@archant.co.uk

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