Special memorial at Wymondham Abbey for teacher and his mother

A special memorial service in Wymondham will honour the lives of an inspirational teacher and his mother who died less than two weeks apart this summer.

Scores of friends and former students will pay tribute to Michael and Sheila Cripps during a poignant service taking place at Wymondham abbey tomorrow at midday.

Mr Cripps, 52, who had lived in Wymondham for about 20 years, was head of science at Neatherd High School, Dereham, having previously taught at Framingham Earl High School.

He died on July 23 just days after being diagnosed with advanced and terminal pancreatic cancer following weeks of feeling unwell.

His sudden passing shocked his family who were still coming to terms with the death of Mrs Cripps, 85, who passed away at Wymondham's Sutherlands Nursing Home on July 11.

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Mr Cripps' sister Suzanne, who moved to Wymondham in August with her son Jamie, 11, said the abbey was one of her brother and mother's favourite places.

'Michael's life was short but the service will be in memory of two lives well lived,' she said.

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'He always used to say 'I love my life'. He had so many interests but his passion was teaching, without a doubt.'

A keen astronomer, Mr Cripps worked tirelessly to make his classes exciting for his students, famously visiting the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to promote interest in science and taking children to the Southern African Large Telescope where he tried to inspire science clubs in schools in former townships in South Africa.

Mrs Cripps and her husband Trevor moved to Wymondham about 10 years ago.

The close couple were married for 53 years before Mr Cripps died in 2003. In recent years she had lived at Robert Kett Court, but had moved to Sutherlands Nursing Home following a stroke.

A collection for Macmillan Cancer Support and Wymondham abbey will be held at the memorial service. Donations may be sent c/o R.J. Bartram and Son, 42 Fairland Street, Wymondham NR18 0JS.


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