‘She was always there’ – Potton set to bid fond farewell to cherished teacher, headteacher, councillor and charity trustee Ruth Burmo

Ruth Burmo.

Ruth Burmo. - Credit: Archant

Potton is set to bid a fond farewell to a cherished teacher, headteacher, councillor and charity trustee at a memorial service this Saturday.

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

And so many people in Potton expressed regret at missing her funeral in York that her old church in the town, St Mary’s, has arranged a service for last respects to be paid.

Ruth’s friend, Councillor Peter Langridge, told the Comet that she had been part of the fabric of Potton.

“Ruth was an integral part of the community, having served on the town council and as a trustee of Potton Consolidated Charities for many years,” he said.

“Many will remember her as the head of the school, where she was very popular and respected by all.

“An active member of the WI and of our church, she made a great deal of positive difference to so many lives within the local community.

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“Right up to when she left, you’d see young adults in the town – often with their own children going to the school – nodding their heads and saying ‘Hello Mrs Burmo’, so respectfully. She was always there.”

Anna Adnitt, Potton Lower School’s chair of governors, echoed Mr Langridge’s comments – having been a governor while Ruth was headteacher of the school.

She told the Comet: “She was very dedicated to being a teacher and a headteacher, extremely caring and always put the children first.

“Ruth was a big Elvis fan, and when she retired in 2012 her leaving assembly had lots of Elvis songs.

Asked about Ruth’s legacy at the school – where she was a teacher and acting head before taking on the top job – Anna added: “Her name will always be synonymous with the school.

“When a new adventure playground was built it was named after her and called ‘the Burmolater’, so that is a lasting memory to her.”

There is currently a book of condolences being held at the school, which will be passed on to the family at Saturday’s service.

Taking place at St Mary’s Church from 3pm on Saturday, the service will be led by Rev Gill Smith, who will also give a reading on behalf of Ruth’s family.

There will be eulogies from members of Potton Town Council, Potton charities and the schools, with singing during the service from Potton Lower School’s choir.

There will also be a collection to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and St Leonard’s Hospice in York.