Farewell to beloved pre-school teacher

Macclesfield Express - - GROSVENOR CENTRE ROW - KAREN BRIT­TON

TRIBUTES have been paid to a beloved wife and well re­spected pre-school teacher.

Beatrice Rhodes, 62, cared for hun­dreds of chil­dren dur­ing her 27 years at St John’s Pre-school, on Ivy Road.

Among those at the fu­neral for Beatrice yes­ter­day (Tues­day) at St Michael’s Church were col­leagues and par­ents from the pre-school, which shut for the morn­ing es­pe­cially so staff and fam­i­lies could pay their re­spects.

Beatrice, a grand­mother-of-one, lived on Box Tree Mews with hus­band John.

John said he has re­ceived count­less tributes for his wife since she died, on Jan­uary 12 at the Christie Hos­pi­tal, Manch­ester af­ter suf­fer­ing from breast can­cer.

He said his ‘lovely Beatrice’ fought the ill­ness bravely and with a smile un­til the end, adding: “I’ve been over­whelmed by the num­ber of peo­ple who have con­tacted me since Beatrice died. She touched so many fam­i­lies in Mac­cles­field over the years at the pre-school.

“Beatrice had the skills, ap­ti­tude and per­son­al­ity to work with young chil­dren. Over the years many par­ents have writ­ten let­ters thank­ing Beatrice for help with their chil­dren. She seemed to get the best out of all, in­clud­ing dif­fi­cult and very shy young­sters.”

Beatrice, who was mum to David and Christo­pher and had a grand­daugh­ter Annabelle, was born in Belfast and met John in 1973 at Belfast Air­port where he was work­ing as an air traf­fic con­troller and she worked on Bri­tish Air­ways check-in.

They mar­ried in 1976 and moved to Mac­cles­field in 1978 when John’s job trans­ferred to Manch­ester Air­port.

In 1986 Beatrice got in­volved with the play­group which be­came St John’s Pre-school. She left the school in 2013 when she was di­ag­nosed with sec­ondary breast can­cer.

John said: “She put up a tremen­dous fight. Over two years she had 30 ses- sions of chemo­ther­apy, 15 of ra­dio­ther­apy. She bore this treat­ment with sto­icism and brav­ery, al­ways be­ing pos­i­tive. If any­one asked how she was, she said ‘I’m do­ing fine’ and smile. I’m dev­as­tated by her loss. I al­ways knew she was an ex­cel­lent wife and mother but have re­alised just how spe­cial she was now I know how strongly peo­ple felt about her.”

●● Beatrice’s fu­neral was held at Mac­cles­field Parish Church. In­set: Beatrice with hus­band John and one of the flo­ral tributes

●● Sev­ens is clos­ing af­ter 30 years

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