Pupils and staff pay tribute to teacher who died age 39

Angela Clare

Angela Clare

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

PUPILS at a North Oxford school are missing their “perfect” teacher after she died of cancer at 39.

St Aloysius’ Catholic Primary School teacher Angela Clare, a non-smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer last August and died at the John Radcliffe Hospital on January 24.

The mother-of-two from Bicester was known as Miss Sloan at the school in Woodstock Road, which she attended as a child, and taught at for seven years.

She married chef Brian Clare, 41, her partner of 22 years and father of their two children, Daniel, 12, and Emily, 10, in October, three months before she died.

The whole school, plus parents, former colleagues, family and friends gathered for a special requiem mass at the Oxford Oratory in Woodstock Road on Friday, led by school chaplain Father Daniel Seward.

A book of drawings and memories of Mrs Clare, with contributions from all the pupils, was presented to her family at the service.

As well as her husband and two children, she leaves her parents Dr John and Elizabeth Sloan, sisters Julia Saunders and Monica Nelson, and niece Bethany, four, and nephew James, two.

Mrs Nelson, 36, from Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, said: “Our family has lost a kind, funny and beautiful mother, wife, daughter, sister and aunty.

“We are heartbroken but so proud of what she achieved.

“We have been overwhelmed by letters and cards from families whose lives she touched.

“It is clear that in the short time she had, she made a profound difference to many children, helping to ensure their first year at school was a positive one.

“Angela was brave and dignified throughout her illness and kept her sense of humour to the end.

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“She was a devoted mother to her two children and her overriding concern on learning of her illness was the effect it would have on them.

“She was immensely grateful to the wonderful Oxfordshire child bereavement charity SeeSaw for its support and guidance and we are collecting donations on their behalf as a thank you.”

Mrs Clare had previously been a teacher at Woodstock Primary School.

Tom Walker, headteacher of 230-pupil St Aloysius, said: “It was a huge shock when Angela was diagnosed last year and her death has been felt very painfully by staff who have worked with her, and the pupils.

“We are considering a lasting memorial to Angela at the school.”

To pupils, the Year One teacher was known for her gentle, caring approach as well as her legendary lunchtime rap song, and inspiring story sessions.

She had recently gained a Masters degree in psychology, graduating with a distinction.

Her funeral will be held at the Immaculate Conception church in Bicester, on Thursday at 10am.

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