Sudbury: Tributes to popular local teacher

Teacher Mike Congdon, who died after a long illness

Teacher Mike Congdon, who died after a long illness - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a popular former teacher and ‘extraordinarily good person’ who died last week after a long illness.

Michael Congdon, who taught languages and sport at both the old Sudbury Grammar School and Sudbury Upper School, was 78.

His former colleague Colin Muddimer said Mr Congdon would be remembered by his students as a quiet man, who despite holding a senior position in the school, was always willing to help and support pupils in whatever they hoped to achieve.

He said: “Mike considered each child as an individual character and would treat every single one of them with individual attention. This most gentle of true gentlemen played a significant part in the tender years of more than 10,000 Sudbury Grammar and Upper School pupils - and he cared about them all.”

Originally from the west country, Mr Congdon studied the classics and Latin at Plymouth and Oxford before moving to Sudbury in the mid-sixties. He took a year away from his post at Sudbury Grammar School to learn Russian, which he subsequently taught. In 1972, he transferred to Sudbury Upper School, where he became head of Deben House.

After retirement and a first serious illness, Mr Congdon volunteered at Sudbury Citizen’s Advice Bureau as a debt advisor.

Mr Muddimer continued: “Many individual students have enjoyed great success in their respective careers due to Mike’s unfailing efforts to ensure that the right child was in the right place at the right time, speaking with the right person.

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“When the news of his passing was announced on Facebook, floods of comments about his kindness to individual students followed. A number of them expressed great surprise at finding themselves in tears with the passing of a teacher – grown men as well as women.”

Mr Congdon’s funeral will be held at West Suffolk Crematorium on September 9 at 1:30pm.