Tributes to ‘inspirational’ former Wakefield College teacher

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An ‘inspirational’ former Wakefield College teacher has died aged 92.

Esther Turnbull taught shorthand and typing at the college from 1964 until her retirement.

She died at the Glynn Residential Home in Wrenthorpe, on January 5, just a few days after falling ill.

Born in Hull, she served in the Women’s Royal Naval Sevice (WRENS) during the Second World War, before training as a teacher in Huddersfield, where she met and married fellow student Jim Turnbull from her teacher training course.

They moved to Wakefield with their young family in around 1964, and both worked at Wakefield College until they retired.

Son Mark said: “Mum was a wonderful teacher of shorthand and typing, and an inspiration to her students.

“She took a keen professional interest in each person and was determined that they would recognise and achieve their own potential.

“Every year young people started new careers due to the progress they made in her classes, and there were always letters of appreciation, or people stopping her in the street for a chat and an update.”

Mrs Turnbull had two children Carole and Mark, and was grandmother to Jenny, Kathryn, Anna-Marie, Harry and Giles.

After her husband’s death, and her own failing mental health she moved to the Glynn Residential Home.

Mr Turnbull added: “She was a wonderful mum and doting grandma, who will be much missed by all the family.

“She was happy at the residential home and enjoyed the companionship of other residents and the patience, care and affection of the staff that saw her through to the end.”