Tributes paid to York teacher, Lorraine Elizabeth Holmes, who has died aged 53

York Press: Lorraine Elizabeth Holmes Lorraine Elizabeth Holmes

TRIBUTES have been paid to a long-serving teacher at a York school who died, aged 53, only weeks after being diagnosed with a heart condition.

Lorraine Elizabeth Holmes worked as a teacher for more than 30 years, with time spent at Shipton Street School, which merged with Kingsway Junior School in 2001 to form Clifton Green Primary School.

Mrs Holmes, who is survived by her husband Ian and daughters Phoebe and Alice, taught children in early years classes, and had recently returned to teaching nursery children following a periodteaching Key Stage 1. Mr and Mrs Holmes celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary earlier this year. Mr Holmes said that when they met “it was more or less love at first sight”, and called her his “soulmate”.

He said: “She worked for clothes shop Vivien Smith’s at the foot of Micklegate and my father had an engineering company called Eric Gibbs which was a few shops up the hill. Our eyes met one day and from there a relationship started. We even shared the same birthday, but she was two years younger.

“Our lives will never be the same again, but what I would like to thank is the community of all the people she’s touched, particularly in the village who have all rallied. It’s like dropping a pebble in the pool we’re in the centre and all the ripples are everyone else who were affected by her.”

Dave Brown, head teacher of Clifton Green Primary School, said: “She was a good teacher who was 100 per cent committed to the children and the families of Clifton.

“She had a lovely, caring nature that meant she was well-liked and respected by children, parents and colleagues. She was always good fun and had a smile but one of the many things I respected about her was that she also had an inner toughness and she stood her ground when she needed to.

“She is and will continue to be greatly missed by the staff at Clifton Green, many of whom have worked with her for more than 20 years. We have lost a fine colleague and a good friend but the difference she made to the lives of so many children over 30 years of service will live on.”

Mrs Holmes died only weeks after she was diagnosed with endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart cavity and valves, and a congenital heart defect. Mr Holmes said his wife was “a devoted mum and a devoted teacher”, and said “she was a little toughie” during her illness and after the operation.

Mr Holmes, Phoebe and Alice, and Mrs Holmes’ mother, Judy, remained by her bedside every day after the operation, “telling her how much we loved her”, before she died on Monday, November 25.

A funeral service will be held at St Mary’s Church, Sand Hutton, tomorrow, at 1.15pm. Mrs Holmes’s family have asked for donations in lieu of flowers to Castle Hill Intensive Care Unit 1, and to St Mary’s Church.

Maxine Squire, interim assistant director of education and skills at City of York Council said: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Lorraine Holmes, a teacher at Clifton Green Primary school for 30 years.

“Lorraine was a very well respected teacher by the children, parents, staff and governors, other headteachers and ourselves at City of York Council, and our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time and our priority is to support them in any way we can.”

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