A wonderful mum and an inspiration to all she taught

Cynthia Johhnson
Cynthia Johhnson

Tributes have been paid to a former headteacher who died at the age 81 after a lifetime of dedicated service to the community.

Cynthia Johnson led the former Duchess’s Grammar School in Alnwick during the early 1970s, where she was described as a ‘passionate’ English teacher – she could quote ‘reams’ of Shakespeare and Keats.

Born in Newcastle and educated at Dame Allan’s School, Cynthia’s life was hit by tragedy when her husband Robert Kay was killed in a car crash within months of her appointment at the Duchess’s.

In a twist of fate, however, she met and later married Alnwick doctor John Johnson, whose wife and daughter had also died in a road accident in 1974.

Daughter Liz said: “She pulled herself up by her bootstraps – I really don’t know how she did it – and rebuilt a family with all of us. John had three daughters and there was also me and my brother. She was an absolute inspiration.”

Socially, Cynthia was a loyal supporter of charities, including Save the Children and Inner Wheel, and a staunch Christian.

She and John moved to Bamburgh, where they lived many happy years until his death last year aged 90.

Cynthia was mother to Tony and Liz, stepmother to Clare, Gill and Sally as well as a grandmother and great grandmother.

A thanksgiving service was held at St Michael’s Church, Alnwick.