‘A true reflection of the town’s respect’ – More than 200 attend Ruth Burmo memorial service in Potton

Ruth Burmo.

Ruth Burmo. - Credit: Archant

More than 200 people were at Potton’s St Mary’s Church last Saturday to pay their last respects to former teacher, councillor and all-round community pillar Ruth Burmo.

Ruth – who moved to York after retiring as head of Potton Lower School in July 2012 following decades of service – died in November, six weeks after suddenly being taken ill.

And so many people in Potton expressed regret at missing her funeral in York that a memorial service was held at her old church here.

A eulogy from Ruth’s eldest son was read out by Rev Gill Smith, before tributes were paid by Potton Town Council chairman Angus MacDonald on behalf of the council and Potton Consolidated Charities, and Jane Walker for the school.

A moving poem was read by Pauline Duncombe, and Charlotte Coppenhall led children from Potton Lower School in a musical tribute.

Potton Lower School chair of governors Anna Adnitt – who was a governor while Ruth was headteacher at the school – said: “It was a real celebration of Ruth’s life. The hymns were the same ones that were sung at her funeral in York, so there was that reflection of her wishes.

“It was a great turnout from the town. All areas of the town were represented – parents, children, councillors, everyone. I think it was a true reflection of the town’s respect for her.”

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Regarding Ruth’s legacy, Anna said last week: “Her name will always be synonymous with the school.”

More than £500 was raised on the day for Ruth’s chosen charities, Macmillan Cancer Support and St Leonard’s Hospice in York.

A book of condolences, which had been held at the school, received more signatures on Saturday, and will be passed to Ruth’s family – along with tributes paid to Ruth on Facebook, which were printed out by Councillor Peter Langridge.

Mr Langridge told the Comet: “Ruth was a dear friend for many years and a truly remarkable lady. She will be remembered for many years to come.”

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