Stowmarket: Family pay tribute to ‘inspiration’ teacher, 31

FAMILY tributes have been paid to a cheerful and inspirational teacher who died this week.

Ruth Barber, 31, was head of drama at Stowmarket High School and had previously taught at Chantry High School in Ipswich.

Miss Barber, a mother-of-one, died at West Suffolk Hospital on Tuesday four days after being taken ill at her home in Dotterel Way, Stowmarket.

In a statement from her family she is described as “cheerful and an inspiration throughout her life”.

“As a family, we have been overwhelmed by the number of tributes to Ruth. We are amazed by how many Ruth touched.

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“Ruth was a cheerful and an inspiration throughout her life. She will be missed by so many.”

Her funeral will take place at Stowmarket Parish Church at 11am on April 1 and the family has asked that those who attend wear something bright and cheerful.

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They also added: “Ruth was always a very generous lady and would have appreciated any donations to the John Peel Centre for the Creative Arts in Stowmarket (via Meredith Greengrass, Stowmarket) instead of flowers.”

Chantry High School headteacher Andrew Fell said staff and pupils were “deeply saddened” by the news and that Miss Barber would have a “lasting impact” on the students she had taught there between 2004 and 2009.

He said: “During the time spent with us at Chantry High, Ruth was a talented teacher, a very caring form tutor and was hugely generous in giving time and energy into the school.

“Her contributions to extra school activities, particularly school shows, were outstanding and had a lasting effect on many of the students. Her contribution to ‘Teacher Come Dancing’ was a night to remember.”

It is believed Miss Barber had suffered a cardiac arrest and police have confirmed there are no suspicious circumstances.

An inquest into her death was opened and adjourned yesterday and will resume at a later date.

<n>A Facebook tribute page has attracted nearly 1,400 members – many of whom are students who were taught by Miss Barber and have been left shocked by the news.

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