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Ruth Forbes: Teacher part of fabric of beloved school for 23 years

The death of Ruth Forbes, Dundrod schoolteacher

RETIRED schoolteacher Ruth Forbes, who has died aged 75, taught at Loanends Primary School, Dundrod, for 23 years.

She arrived there to fill a three-week vacancy but fell in love with the rural seat of learning and spent the rest of her career there until her retirement in 1995.

It was the late principal, Edward Logan, who persuaded Ruth to join his staff on a temporary basis after she ended a role at Templepatrick Primary as a supply teacher.

"But he was delighted when she agreed to stay on as a permanent member of staff ," said another retired teacher, Jean Fisher.

"Eventually, I became principal after Mr Logan and Ruth was my deputy. She was popular with both parents and pupils and there are many old boys and girls of Loanends out there who have happy memories of their schooldays because of her."

Ruth (nee Telford) was a pupil at Belfast High School when she met Bob Forbes, who was at Belfast Royal Academy. They were both 16 and it was love at first sight.

They married at Eglinton Presbyterian Church a few years after first walking out together and the union lasted 50 years until Bob, who worked for Ford, passed away three years ago.

"Ruth never had any other real boyfriend, only Bob," said her sister Lena Patton. "She was an ideal sister and I know that the children in all the schools she taught in adored her."

Ruth, who lived at Templepatrick and worshipped in the village's Presbyterian church, had her first posting at the Girls' Model in Belfast, where she taught for nine years, and then took another nine years out to raise her family.

As her sons Peter and Jonathan grew older, she returned to the classroom, winding up at Loanends.

She is survived by Jonathan, a physicist, and his wife Alison; Peter, a teacher, and his wife Sally, and two grandchildren.

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