Tributes paid to ‘gentle giant’ teacher John Reay

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Lowestoft teacher and artist who has died at the age of 63.

John Reay, of Denmark Road, died at the James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, on January 28. He had suffered a stroke earlier in the month.

Mr Reay studied art at Brighton and Norwich before moving to Lowestoft in 1974 to work as a teacher at Denes High School.

During a long teaching career in the town Mr Reay also taught at Benjamin Britten High School, Lowestoft College, Ashley Downs, Old Warren, and Alderman Leach School at Gorleston as well as giving private art tuition.

Mr Reay was also a talented artist in his own right and exhibitions of his work were regularly displayed at the Ferini Gallery, Pakefield, and Buckingham House Gallery, Southwold. He had a great love of music particularly classical, jazz, blues and opera, and was also a keen saxophone player.

'My father was a well known teacher and artists who had a wide circle of friends and inspired many people over the years. He was a gentle giant who always opened his heart and his house to anyone that needed it,' said his son David.

'He lived life to the full and was a fun loving gregarious character who was greatly loved and respected. John will be sorely missed by all who knew him and his funeral will be a celebration of his life.'

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Mr Reay leaves his partner Sue, son David, granddaughter Daisy, mother Rose, sister Pam, ex-wife Kathie and an extended family.

His funeral took place at Gorleston Crematorium on Thursday followed by a wake at the Triangle Tavern, Lowestoft.

l A sale of John Reay's artwork will take place in the future. Expressions of interest and reservations of work can be made through David Reay on 07866 469296.

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