Tribute paid to popular Thanet teacher Beryl Sutherland

Beryl Sutherland

Popular retired secondary school teacher Beryl Sutherland has died at the age of 92.

Beryl, who died peacefully at home on Christmas morning, taught domestic science / home economics for many years at the Charles Dickens School and St George’s School.

Beryl Joan Lewis was born in Kennington, Ashford, in November 1927, and moved to Broadstairs as a little girl, attending St Mildred’s School, Broadstairs, and Clarendon House Grammar School, Ramsgate.

Her teenage years were interrupted by World War Two when, with other pupils, she was evacuated to Stafford.

After school, Beryl went to college in Leicester before returning to Kent where she met her future husband, Philip Brian Sutherland, an artist and fellow teacher. They spent years together at Charles Dickens School, Broadstairs, before leaving to run a craft pottery business, while also bringing up five sons.

Beryl returned to teaching in the early 1970s, joining St George’s School, in Ramsgate, shortly before it moved to its present site in Broadstairs.

Beryl was an enthusiastic participant in competitions, when much depended on a skilful slogan. In those days, entrants had to send in proof of purchase, such as food labels. Eldest son Paul said: “We became used to opening tins of what we thought were baked beans and finding dog food inside.”

But Beryl was very successful, and her numerous prizes included two cars and several holidays. Later she also took part in TV competitions including Countdown and 15 To One.

She became a keen collector of teapots and tea paraphernalia and for many years was a popular speaker on the subject for local clubs and other organisations.

In retirement, she worked hard to achieve a degree from the Open University. Beryl, who was widowed in 1998, is survived by one sister, Marjorie, five sons, nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Paul said: “Mum loved her growing family, and one of our precious memories was seeing the happiness on her face, just a few weeks ago, as she cradled her latest, three-week old great grandchild, Hattie Joy, in her arms.”

Paul added: “We must thank the wonderful carers from All Seasons, whose support allowed Beryl to stay in the home she had loved for 60 years, and the staff and volunteers at Age UK Thanet, who gave purpose to increasingly difficult days.”

Beryl’s funeral is being held at 9.30am on Thursday January 16, at Thanet Crematorium, Margate. Her family ask that any donations be made to Age UK Thanet.