Gilbert Bashforth saw hundreds of children go through his schools in a 40-year career and was awarded the MBE for services to education.
He was headteacher at Beck Road School in Shiregreen for more than 25 years, after becoming one of Sheffield’s youngest-ever heads while still aged in his 30s.
A number of former pupils have paid tribute to him on Facebook following his death.
Carl Weldon said Mr Bashforth was “how a headteacher should be.”
Alison George described him as “one of the best.”
Tracy Thompson posted that he was a “great headteacher.”
Vicky Walsh described him as a “great man.”
Flo Hawk said: “Mr Bashworth was a very good headteacher.”
He was born in Conisbrough in 1928 and educated at Doncaster Grammar School, before moving to Sheffield in 1950, where he lived in the same house in Norton with his wife Marguerite for more than 60 years.
From grammar school, he had intended to pursue a career in engineering, but his time on National Service changed his life completely.
Being one of the better educated recruits, he got the job of teaching some of the other men to read and write – and instantly felt he was doing something worthwhile.
When he came out of the army he did his teacher training and began his career in Attercliffe, before moving to Ecclesall Juniors and then Beck Road.
He enjoyed a trip to Buckingham Palace in 1987 to pick up his MBE.
After spending most of his retirement in Sheffield, he moved to Dorset with Marguerite in 2012, where she died in 2016.
He is survived by his sons Stephen and David, as well as two of his siblings, John and Joyce, and four grandchildren. His funeral will take place in Dorset on March 6.