‘Sally had enormous love for everyone she knew’

Tributes to Sidmouth mum-of-three who died of cancer

A MUCH-LOVED wife and mum-of-three from Sidmouth will be remembered as a woman with a “joy for life” – and “enormous love” for everyone she knew.

Tributes have been paid to Sally Roberts, 52, of Fortescue Road, who died of cancer on Friday, January 6.

Sally, a talented teacher, had ‘carried the burden of serious illness with elegance’ for 18 months, her husband Jeremy told the Herald.

He added his wife of nearly 30 years not only leaves her own family - but hundreds of children she treated as if her own in the communities she served.

“To us, the cancer was a dance and we were trying to keep a couple of steps ahead. Eventually, it caught up,” said Jeremy, the principal of Sidmouth College.

“Sally was someone who took great joy in life and was able to show enormous love, not just to her family, but in all her relationships. Her life was those relationships.”

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Scores of friends and colleagues of Sally’s will tomorrow attend her funeral at Sidmouth Parish Church – the place where she was “overjoyed” to see her daughter get married less than a year ago.

“She was my best friend,” said Jeremy. “We never tired of each other’s company. All the flowers, cards and messages we’ve received have been an enormous support. We’re very grateful to everyone. We relish the chance to talk about Sally.”

Jeremy said sons Sam, 26, and Joe, 23, and daughter Louise, 28, were the “centre of her existence”.

Bridport born Sally met Jeremy during her first days at university, and the romance resulted in marriage a week after her graduation.

She began her teaching career in Awliscombe, and eventually became headteacher at St Peter’s School in Budleigh Salterton. Ill health forced her early retirement in October.

“Sally was recognised in her professional life as a compassionate but determined leader,” said Jeremy.

“She led by example, and inspired others by her dedication and commitment. She was always happiest when one of the team. She loved the camaraderie.”

Malcolm Elliott, acting head at St Peter’s in Budleigh, said: “Sally was highly respected and greatly loved. She was a very special headteacher.

“Staff and children have wonderful memories of her.”

Donations in Sally’s memory can be made to Children’s Hospice South West and FORCE – charities she supported for many years.