Tributes pour in for much-loved former village school head

Reg Dixon was head of Trimley St Mary Primary School for 19 years 

Reg Dixon was head of Trimley St Mary Primary School for 19 years - Credit: JOHN KERR

Tributes have been paid to a respected and much-loved former head teacher remembered fondly by his pupils for his gentleness and care.

Reg Dixon, who has died at the age of 86, was at the heart of village life, head of Trimley St Mary Primary School for nearly 20 years and oversaw its growth from small village school to large primary as the community grew with nearly 1,000 new homes.

His teaching was accomplished and inspiring to thousands.

One former parent said: "He was a charismatic headmaster of Trimley St Mary school and guided hundreds of young people, including our four children, along their early educational pathway, with good humour and genuine care for each child. He will be sadly missed."

After his retirement, Reg and his wife Mary - a parish and district councillor for many years, serving as parish chairman, who died in 2014, aged 76 -  continued to live in the village.

Trimley St Mary Primary centenary celebrations

Reg Dixon returned to Trimley St Mary Primary School in 2004 to share in its centenary celebrations. Here he is pictured with pupil 11 year old Gemma Pinney with the flag she designed to mark the 100 years along with the then head teacher Richard Griffiths, and past head Mike Jude - Credit: JOHN KERR

They both loved the countryside and nature and were very involved in the RSPB locally

His love of wildlife and volunteering at Trimley Marshes Nature Reserve made him a familiar and appreciated figure to many more - in fact, he was teaching people once more.

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Ex-editor of the Ipswich Star, Nigel Pickover said: "We once had beautiful birds nesting in the clematis next to our house - quick as a flash he identified them as chiff-chaffs. The community will miss him greatly."

Born on November 24, 1934, in Balderton, Notts, Reg was the youngest of three brothers to a working class family.

He was educated at the University of Nottingham, lived in Oxfordshire, Devon and Yorks.

The family moved to Trimley in 1977 - when Reg took over as head of the primary school until 1996 - and he lived half his life in the same house in Station Road.

He married Mary in 1961 and was a dedicated and loving husband and father. He is survived by children Diana and Peter and grandchildren Frank and Elizabeth.

His son Peter said: ‘’I know Dad was a big influence on former pupils and parents during his time as headteacher in Trimley, so we wanted to pass on the sad news. He was the very best of people.’’

Former pupils writing tributes and sharing memories on Facebook said he "valued creativity and individual children" and described him as a "lovely, peace loving gentleman", wonderful headmaster who was thoughtful, gentle and supported, encouraged and inspired.

One person wrote: "A kind headmaster and an excellent human being." 

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