Tributes paid to popular teacher

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TRIBUTES are continuing to pour in for a popular and much-loved teacher who has died aged 54.

Janet Patricia Norris died in the East Lancashire Hospice with her family beside her after a three-and-a-half year battle with cancer.

Family, friends and loved ones packed Whalley Parish Church on Monday to pay their respects at her funeral which was followed by a celebration of her life at Whalley Abbey.

Janet lived with her husband, Nigel, and two daughters, Kate and Liz, in Buckingham Drive, Read.

Described as an “inspirational, caring, generous, classy and beautiful woman”, Janet had taught at Whittlefield Primary School, Burnley, for the past 18 years.

Born and brought up near Rawtenstall, Janet met Nigel while the pair were completing their teacher training qualifications at Edge Hill College, Ormskirk. They were married on August 13th, 1977, and made their home in Ormskirk.

They moved to the Ribble Valley in 1991 as Nigel taught art at Walton High School, Nelson, and Janet started working at Whittlefield Primary. Previously, she worked at Moorgate School and Children’s Centre, Ormskirk, and Croston Playgroup, Croston.

Outside work, Janet’s hobbies were walking, tapestry, gardening and painting.

Paying tribute to a loving wife, Nigel said: “She loved the Ribble Valley area and we enjoyed walking together. We travelled a lot also enjoying holidays in Italy, the Greek Islands and Scotland. In her spare time she also enjoyed music and art.

“Janet was very family oriented and loved children. She was very well respected and extremely popular at the schools she taught.”

Speaking about the sheer strength and bravery she demonstrated throughout her illness, Nigel added: “She was determined not to let the cancer beat her and she led as normal life as possible.

“She was very brave, rarely complained and was certainly not going to let the illness take over her life. Janet attended our daughter Kate’s wedding in January and although she was suffering from inside, she put on a very brave face and enjoyed every minute of the happy occasion.”

Nigel went on to pay tribute to the overwhelming support from his family, friends and colleagues and also expressed gratitude to the medical staff who helped Janet and the family throughout this horrendous time in their lives.

“I wish to thank the Sanctuary of Healing, Langho, staff at the Oncology Unit at Royal Blackburn Hospital, the Christie Hospital in Manchester and the East Lancashire Hospice. They have all been fantastic and I would urge people to donate and support the hospice as its an invaluable service.

“I would also like to thank all those who attended the funeral service, including the many patients and their families.”

Janet is survived by her husband and children plus her parents, Bernard and Marjorie Etches, of Whalley, and her brother, Michael.