FORMER headteacher of Sandown CE Primary School, Eleanor Judith 'Judy' Whitmore, has died at the age of 80.

She had suffered a long period of poor health.

Mrs Whitmore was born in Birmingham in 1939, and moved to the Island in 1961 after meeting her husband, David, who was then working as an engineer at Saunders Roe, East Cowes.

She began her teaching career at Holy Cross Primary School, East Cowes, before leaving to join Grange Road Primary then Binstead Primary.

She became deputy head at St John’s Primary in Ryde (now Dover Park), before being appointed headteacher at Sandown CE Primary.

After retiring as headteacher, she returned to education as a teacher trainer for teaching assistants.

Mrs Whitmore was renowned for her ability to relate to children using language they understood and was successful at engaging their interest in education.

She was a lifelong member of the Liberal Democrats, and served as a Liberal councillor in the former Medina Borough Council in the late 1970s.

She was very active in local affairs and was a former chairwoman of the local Ladies Circle and on East Cowes Carnival committee.

She later took an active role in Friendship Force, with whom she travelled to the United States, Japan and a number of European countries.

She was a regular member of the congregation at Northwood Parish Church.

A fun-loving and adventurous type, she was a keen sportswoman and lifelong fan of Birmingham City Football Club.

She played badminton competitively in the Island league, and in later life learned to swim.

Her other hobbies and interests included gardening, cookery and ballet.

Mrs Whitmore died at Mountbatten Hospice on November 26.

She leaves behind her husband, son Warren, daughter Vicky, and grandchildren Sian, Bethan, Agnieszka, Harry, Chloe, Josh and Freddie.

Her second son, Max, predeceased her.

A funeral service will be held at St Mary the Virgin Parish Church, Carisbrooke, on Monday at noon.