Tributes are paid to 'inspirational' teacher Gaynor Jacobs

Former head of science at Felixstowe School Gaynor Jacobs, who has died aged 63

Former head of science at Felixstowe School Gaynor Jacobs, who has died aged 63 - Credit: Family of Gaynor Jacobs

Tributes are being paid to "inspirational" retired Felixstowe teacher Gaynor Jacobs, who has died aged 63.

Mrs Jacobs, who lived in Trimley St Mary, was head of science at Felixstowe Academy, now Felixstowe School, before taking early retirement due to ill-health.

She taught for many years at both Deben and Orwell High Schools in Felixstowe, as well as Holywells and Chantry High Schools in Ipswich, and is fondly remembered by countless former pupils.

Gaynor Jacobs, former head of science at Felixstowe School, with a family group

Gaynor Jacobs, former head of science at Felixstowe School, with a family group - Credit: Family of Gaynor Jacobs

Son Peter said: "Mum would put anyone’s needs before her own. She was such an inspiration to many people's lives."

Mrs Jacobs was devoted to her four children, Peter, Sarah, Aimee and Robert, two grandchildren, Sebastian and William, and her brother Robin and his wife Amanda.

Peter Jacobs said: "As well as being a loving mum and nanna, she also opened her heart and arms to my wife Emma, her daughter-in-law, and made her feel part of the family.

"She was involved in her grandchildren's lives and she would always help out any of her friends."

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Emma Wilson-Downes, headteacher of Felixstowe School, said: “Gaynor was our much-respected head of science before retiring last year.

"She was very popular with staff and students alike, well respected and cared deeply about the school, the students and the staff.”

Mrs Jacobs was born in the Manchester area and later moved to Hull, because her father was in the RAF, which meant the family moved around. She studied at the University of East Anglia in Norwich before moving to Suffolk, where she started her teaching career. 

Mr Jacobs said: "Mum had a real passion for teaching. Her greatest talent was trying to get someone to learn if they didn't want to learn. She was so inspirational."

Tributes have been pouring in from friends and former pupils. Mr Jacobs said: "It has been really nice on social media, as people have been sharing their memories of Mum."

He added it was sad not many people would be able to go to her funeral due to Covid-19 restrictions, as so many would have liked to pay their respects.

Mrs Jacobs was very ill a year ago with pancreatitis, and then had to undergo an operation in November, but her son said: "She was always very positive."

He said she enjoyed holidays in Crete with a group of close friends, and also enjoyed knitting.


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