Proud record of former teacher and jazz lover

editorial image

A talented former teacher who educated hundreds of children during his many years in education has died.

Donald Worth, former headteacher of St Michael’s School in Flanshaw, died peacefully at his home in Sandal on July 12, aged 93.

He leaves behind his son Roger, 67, daughter Jill Whitaker, 62, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Born in Ripon in 1919, Mr Worth was educated at Rothwell Grammar School and Wakefield Art College, but took his first job at a gentlemen’s outfitter’s.

He went on to serve in the Highland Light Infantry during the Second World War, then worked for the West Riding Education Authority, studying for a teaching qualification in art and geography in York.

He first taught at Ings Road Secondary School, where he was released to gain his full teaching qualifications at Leeds University.

Mr Worth went on to work at Primrose Hill School, Pudsey, Elmfield school in Morley, Milnthorpe Middle School and Flanshaw St Michael’s in the 1970s and 1980s.

A lover of jazz, Mr Worth would impress his fellow troops during the war with his singing and tap dancing, and shared the stage with famous wartime entertainers.

He recorded his favourite Doris Day song The More I See You on a gramophone disc as a gift for his wife Gladys, who died seven years ago aged 86. The record is still kept at the Sandal house where he and Gladys lived for 51 years.

His daughter Jill said: “He loved jazz and had a great voice. We have chosen the song for his funeral.”

Mr Worth wrote and produced many shows during his time as a teacher, and was a member of drama group Horbury Pageant Players.

After his retirement he went to dance classes with Gladys, and the couple won medals for their dancing.

They also journeyed to India, Mexico and even Antarctica during their retirement.

A funeral will be held at 1pm on Friday, July 26, at Wakefield Crematorium.