THE funeral has been held of Joan Thompson, a former Selby teacher and charity fundraiser, who has died aged 78.

Joan, who lived in Thorpe Willoughby for more than 30 years with her husband, Andy, was a regular in the congregation at St Francis’s Church in the village, and was involved in fundraising for the new church, a member of the church council, the prayer group, and a churchwarden.

Joan’s friend, Margaret Gaygan, said: “Joan had a calling to be a teacher – it was never just a job – and she was never more at home than when she was in front of a reception class whichever school she was teaching in.

“Following teaching spells in Retford and Rampton, in Nottinghamshire, she taught at Flaxley Road school in Selby for many years before completing her career as a deputy head teacher at a large primary school in Howden.”

Joan and Andy had two children, John and Ann.

The couple were also involved in supporting the Selby and district branch of Mencap, organising fundraising for theatre trips and holiday outings to Reighton Gap for members and their families.

When Joan was diagnosed with diabetes, she became one of the founder members of the Selby Diabetes Group.

She arranged guest speakers and fundraising for the group while supporting other sufferers. In 2009, Joan suffered a stroke and was admitted to the Wingfield Nursing home at Eldwick near Bingley, West Yorkshire, with her husband. She died on December 23.

A funeral service was held for Joan at the village church in Eldwick, which was filled with family and friends.

The service included hymns and poems which Joan had selected as a celebration of a life well lived.

Margaret said: “When the bluebells are in bloom in the spring, Andy and the family intend to spread Joan’s ashes on Brayton Barff.”