"SHE led a wonderful life which positively impacted so many" - the family of a retired Stourbridge teacher have said following news of her death from cancer.

Popular English teacher Wendy Gwynne lost her battle against leukaemia on December 21 after being diagnosed with the disease last September.

She was 73.

Mrs Gwynne, who lived in Wollaston, was head of English at Ridgewood High School where she inspired many students to follow their dreams and pursue a career that required a good command of her subject.

Prior to heading up the English department at the school in Park Road West, Wollaston, where she directed many school plays - she taught English and drama at Longlands School in Brook Street.

Born in Batley, West Yorkshire, she qualified as a teacher in the 1960s and began her career in Birmingham before moving on to St James's School in Wollaston.

After taking a break to start a family she returned to teach at Stourbridge College before taking up a post in 1986 at Longlands which merged in 1990 with High Park School to become Ridgewood where she stayed until she retired in the early 2000s. In addition to teaching she was also a GCSE coursework moderator and GCSE English examination marker for AQA for many years.

Even after quitting the classroom she continued to work for the Northern Examinations Board until 2011 and was an active member of the congregation at St Thomas's Church in Stourbridge - even publishing a brief history of the Market Street church 'A Journey Through Time' last year.

Mrs Gwynne, whose husband Graham passed away in 2013, leaves two children - David and Megan, and four grandchildren.

Paying tribute - Megan said: "We are deeply saddened by our mother's death, but we are so very heartened that she was so highly respected within her career by pupils and fellow staff. She led a wonderful life which positively impacted so many."

David added: "She was a passionate teacher and practically had to be dragged away from the blackboard to retire. Even then, she kept on working for exam boards for a few more years. I’m sure she would have been very heartened to know how much her teaching has meant to her former pupils."

Retired English teacher and former head of media education at Ridgewood, Paul Ferris, said Mrs Gwynne was also very much admired by colleagues, adding: "As a teacher and as a head of department she always set high standards making sure that both her students and fellow teachers performed to the best of their ability."

Mrs Gwynne's funeral will be at St Thomas’ Church, Market Street, Stourbridge, this Thursday (January 17) at 11am.

Donations will go to the church's restoration appeal fund and can be made via funeral directors H Porter & Sons, South Road, Stourbridge.