Tributes have been paid to a much-loved retired teacher and Ayton councillor who has died after a long illness.
Pat Almond started her teaching career in 1968 at West Heslerton primary school where she taught for six years, until the birth of her two daughters Caroline and Lucy.
She then returned to teaching at Pickering Junior School where she stayed for 20 years until taking early retirement.
However shortly after, Mrs Almond was approached to help with teaching music and supply teaching at Rosedale Abbey junior school, where she taught until her second retirement ten years later in 2007.
Her husband Mick said: “Pat’s days at Rosedale were some of the happiest in her teaching career. She loved working there, and made many friends and thoroughly enjoyed working with the children, parents and staff.”
Nicola Johnson, the headteacher at Rosedale, said: “Pat’s years at Rosedale were wonderful, full of fun and laughter. She brought with her a love of words which spread like an infection through the children and the staff who were privileged to work alongside her.
“In 32 years of teaching I have never come across a more naturally talented teacher than Pat. She was a joy to work with.
“She touched the hearts and minds of all those she taught and with whom she worked. We all have a ‘piece of Pat’ in our soul - a valuable legacy indeed.”
Mrs Johnson said Mrs Almond was ‘Christmas-aholic’ and this year’s play is dedicated to “our precious Pat”.
Mrs Almond also worked part-time in the 1990s running creative writing courses in Rosedale, Egton Bridge and Whitby, and was musical director of the Ayton Ladies Choir.
Mr Almond said: “Pat was passionate about everything she did. She was a devoted and specially loved wife, mother and grandmother and will be sadly missed.”
Her funeral is to be held at Octon Crematorium on December 10 at 1pm when mourners are asked to wear bright coloured clothing “to reflect the warmth and colour Pat brought into our lives” said Mr Almond.