Former Sheffield headteacher dies aged 91

Former Sheffield head teacher John James Postlethwaite, known as Jim, who died aged 91 on January 23, 2015
Former Sheffield head teacher John James Postlethwaite, known as Jim, who died aged 91 on January 23, 2015
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A former headteacher who guided thousands of Sheffield pupils through their education over two decades has died aged 91.

John James Postlethwaite, known as Jim, was headteacher of the Waltheof School campus on the Manor from 1960 to 1980.

His widow, Catherine, said: “Jim was a well-loved and respected headmaster and a sportsman of repute who had a very good influence on all who came into contact with him.

“The best epitaph we can give him is, ‘He gave support and encouragement to all around him.’

“Literally thousands of people have gone through him.

“Even his carers had been at his school.”

Jim was born in Sheffield in 1923 and attended Firth Park boys’ grammar school, where he excelled in cross country.

He was a member of the Sheffield United Harriers and the Sheffield Phoenix Cycling Club.

In wartime, Jim served abroad with the Royal Air Force as a Sergeant in 37 Squadron. He received a medal for devotion to duty.

After the war, Jim went into teaching and was eventually promoted to head teacher of the Waltheof Campus, which had 1,200 pupils as well as a thriving sixth form and an adult education centre.

Jim, of Abbey Lane, Woodseats, was an active member of his community and served as chairman of the Rivelin and District Scouts Association, chairman of the Sheffield Schools Athletics Association, chairman of the local Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and a football referee in the Midland League.

He was a member of the Dore and Totley golf club for more than 50 years.

Jim died on January 23 and leaves his wife of almost 66 years, Catherine, and their daughter, Susan Mary.

His funeral service will be held on Monday at the Mother of God Church on Abbeydale Road at 12.30pm.