A popular teacher who taught across schools in the south of the county has died at the age of 63 following a long struggle with cancer.

Joanna Barfield, of Halesworth, was a familiar face in schools across south Norfolk and north Suffolk.

Born on an RAF station in Lincolnshire, she spent some of her childhood in Kenya, Singapore and Italy, before attending state boarding school at Wymondham College.

She studied French and German at King’s College, London, and went on to teach at Bancroft’s School.

During this time, she also worked in London's classical music industry before moving back to East Anglia 35 years ago.

She became head of modern foreign languages at Stradbroke High School in Eye, Suffolk, before moving on to Halesworth Middle and Worlingham Middle where she worked for many years as an English and food technology teacher.

During the later years of her career, she worked as a supply teacher across local primary schools.

Eastern Daily Press: Joanna Barfield has died aged 63

Away from teaching, she sang with the Harleston Choral Society and sang solos and duets with friends in recitals in churches and halls.

She was also an active member of her local art community, from stewarding in the Halesworth Gallery to helping her husband of 32 years, Paul Cope, organise a series of large-scale art events and exhibitions.

She loved her garden and her many cats.

Paying tribute to her, Dr Cope said: “Joanna bore her final illness bravely and was well cared for by the staff of the Beccles War Memorial Hospital and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.”

She died peacefully on Wednesday, May 29, in St Elizabeth Hospice at Beccles War Memorial Hospital.

There will be a celebration and farewell service at Waveney Memorial Park and Crematorium on June 17 at 2pm.

Flowers from attendees' gardens are welcomed and donations will be collected for the St Elizabeth Hospice.

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