Farewell to beloved pre-school teacher
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
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