GLENYS Grantham, who died aged 70 the day after flying into Washington at the start of a touring holiday with her husband and two friends, was headmistress of Pollington-Baine Primary School near Goole for 15 years.
A member of the Samaritans, she also wrote and published a book, Basil’s Story. The only child of Alfred and Katie Lunn, she was born and brought up on Fairview Farm which they owned at Newland, some 14 miles from the school where she spent most of her working life.
Her musical mother took her to piano lessons piano and discouraged her from taking too great an interest in farming, and after she left Selby High School, she went to Bishop Grosseteste trainer teaching college in Lincoln.
She had already met Albert Grantham at the local pigeon club, both their fathers being pigeon fanciers.
The friendship continued, and in 1966 they were married.
After qualifying, Mrs Grantham taught at Moorends Girls’ School, near Thorne, becoming head of geography.
The couple settled in Rawcliffe, and after the birth of their son James, she returned to teaching, but now at Rawcliffe Bridge Primary School.
In 1985 she was appointed deputy headmistress of Pollington-Baine Primary School, and while combining that with the role of wife and mother, she studied for an external honours degree at Hull University, being awarded it in 1988 when she was made headmistress.
She was an active teaching head rather than a purely administrative one, and parents were known to comment that the one car remaining on the school car park long after the children and other staff had gone home, was hers.
Proud of the school, she put in many extra hours, but still found time to support her cyclist son James. It was this support that gave Mr and Mrs Grantham their taste for travel because they drove him to events in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, and what was then Yugoslavia. And when, in his late teens, he started selling bicycle components, she drove him to the European suppliers and manufacturers to collect them.
After her retirement in 2003, Mrs Grantham became involved with the Samaritans at Wakefield. Involved in all the fund raising activities, she took her turn at the all-night stints, and was put in charge of caller care.
The book she wrote, Basil’s Story, arose from a chance encounter between her father and another patient in York Hospital.
During the war, an Allied bomber crashed near his farm, and he helped rescue the crew that had survived it.
Fifty years later, on that hospital ward, he was in conversation with a fellow patient whom he discovered was related to one of those survivors, now living in New Zealand.
It was the survivor’s story which Mrs Grantham recounts in her book.
She and her husband’s travels, having begun in Europe, extended to the world, destinations including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Singapore, Canada, South America and the United States.
Mrs Grantham is survived by her husband and their son, James.