Family want cathedral service to be a celebration of Bury teacher’s life

Fred Grimsey and daughter Jacqui a week before he died. ANL-140528-151223009
Fred Grimsey and daughter Jacqui a week before he died. ANL-140528-151223009
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The family of former Bury St Edmunds teacher Fred Grimsey, who died of cancer last Thursday, say they have been touched by the letters received in the last months of his life.

Mr Grimsey’s wife Julie said: “He was a senior teacher at St Louis Middle School for 21 years and before that was at St Felix School in Newmarket. He taught children whose parents he had taught and he did 20 years of ski trips so hundreds of children went skiing who wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity.

“He has been ill for seven and a half months and in that time he had some extraordinary letters from people thanking him for the influence he had had on their children.”

A service of thanksgiving for Fred Grimsey’s life will be held at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Monday June 23 at 6.30pm.

Julie said: “The service will be open to all. We will not be asking for donations at the service because people have been so generous.

“We want people to wear bright clothes, because it is a celebration and we’d like people to bring photos and memories of Fred with labels to say what it was. We plan to set up pin boards.”

His daughter Jacqui says she is now even more determined to raise as much money as she can for St Nicholas Hospice Care with her 10km a day for 10 days challenge, which was encouraged by her father, who was 61.

Jacqui said: “It’s been difficult because we’ve been looking after dad, but given the amount of money we have raised and the support people have given I’m definitely fully galvanised to do this for dad.”

Julie, who raised £1,600 by cycling 20 miles, added: “The runs are even more important now because the hospice have been extraordinary.

“He died at home, which was what he wanted, and we’ve had nurses and carers coming in all through the last week.”

By Wednesday they had raised almost £6,000,

Jacqui’s runs will start in Bury on July 4 and be split between Suffolk and London where the 25-year-old works as a marketing manager. Her final run will be with 50 friends on Clapham Common on July 13.

Rose Heap, head of St Louis Middle School, said: “For those of us who were lucky enough to work beside him, our sense of loss and grief is immense. Fred was a truly wonderful colleague who cared deeply about St Louis and everything it stood for.

“His sense of humour made even the most difficult of times more bearable.

“He touched many lives with his wisdom, kindness and compassion.”

To donate to Jacqui’s fund raising visit Team Grimsey’s Virgin Giving site