Packed church expected for funeral

HUNDREDS of mourners are expected to attend the funeral of a popular and inspirational Suffolk teacher after it was confirmed the ceremony will take place next week.

HUNDREDS of mourners are expected to attend the funeral of a popular and inspirational Suffolk teacher after it was confirmed the ceremony will take place next week.

Kate Talmadge, 27, died on Thursday January 15 as she slept at her home in Thorney Road, Capel St Mary, where she lived with her parents.

She was a well-known figure in Ipswich and Stowmarket having taught hundreds of students at Holywells High School as an art teacher prior to moving to a new role at Combs Middle School last September.

It was confirmed today that that her funeral ceremony will take place at Tattingstone Church from 1pm on Saturday January 31.

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Mick Taylor of the Co-operative Funeral Society said a large turnout of between 350 and 500 people is expected.

He said that a request has been made for family flowers only.

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Students in Ipswich and Stowmarket were said to be extremely upset on hearing the news of Miss Talmadge's death.

Terry Duffell, headteacher at Holywells High School in Ipswich, said Miss Talmadge, who joined the school in September 2004, showed an amazing ability to connect with students and those who knew her were devastated by the news.

He described her as a unique and inspirational character.

Almena Theobald:

In paying tribute to Kate, I write as Chairman of Christchurch Ladies' Club and Past President of Suffolk Netball Association.

Kate joined the Netball Section of Christchurch Ladies' Club in 1993 as a junior player and remained with us for 8 years until she went to university.

There is no doubt in my mind that had Kate continued with netball, she would have gained further honours but her great love of art and teaching took priority.

Although a quiet, reserved and private person, Kate was very popular with everyone, and who could forget her cheeky smile?

Her untimely death is a great tragedy and the hearts of everyone connected with netball go out to her parents, sister Alice and grandparents, all of whom wholeheartedly supported Kate.

Leonie Watkins (East Bergholt High School class mate - 1992-1997):

As a former class and form member of Kate's (or Katie as I shall always remember her) like so many, I was truly devastated on hearing this sad news.

I am absolutely certain that my thoughts are representative of her entire high school year group and although it is impossible to eloquently and appropriately convey in a single paragraph how Kate was viewed by her peers, I wanted to say a few words about her.

Most noteworthy, she was a wonderful friend with the most kind and generous nature. Kate was patient and always had time to help others and was a mentor and advisor to me during my struggle with many a mathematics problem through our school years.

Kate was well liked, greatly respected and will be terribly missed by everyone who knew her throughout her life.

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