Lives Remembered: Hazel Crutchley

My wife Hazel Crutchley was an inspiring and motivating school teacher who had a huge influenceon the children she taught, on parents who met her, and colleagues who worked with her. She was also a devoted wife and dedicated to animal welfare.

Hazel was born in Northampton on 11 January 1968 to Margaret and John Snow. Brought up in Haversham, Milton Keynes, along with her elder sister, Mandy, she worked and played hard at school, achieved good grades and went to the University of Leeds in 1989 to study Social Policy. It was here, in 1992, that we met.

Hazel went on to study for a Post Graduate Certificate of Education at the University of Plymouth, maintaining our long-distance relationship, asI was studying in Liverpool. It wasat Plymouth that she developed the love of teaching that would defineher life. She excelled in the training, having a natural knack with primary school children, a love of art andcraft and a bright and reassuring way in the classroom.

Moving to Kent for her first teaching post, she made an immediate impact. She was well organised and planned lessons diligently with the children in mind; fun, flexible learning was at the fore. Her first class progressed well and her pleasant and easy-going character reassured parents and encouraged children to enjoy school. Pupils from this school would continue to write to her.

In 1995 she moved to Lancashire and we married in August of that year. She developed a similar style and rapport at Shakespeare School in Fleetwood, where again she would make life-long bonds with pupils, parents and colleagues. She remained hard-working, extremely likeable, approachable and friendly. She also relished out-of-school activities, taking part in and organising school plays, bring-and-buy sales and treasure hunts along the Promenade.

Outside school, we bought a dog, Rosie, from the local animal shelter, and she took a procession of animals she found hurt and injured to the vet, ending up with a number of entries on the vet's database for pigeons, dogs, hedgehogs and guinea pigs.

Longing to live in the south-west, we moved to Swindon in 1999. However, it was shortly after moving here that a benign tumour was discovered in her brain after she suffered a seizure. Despite continuing seizures, Hazel continued to work in two further schools in the town, largely concealing her worsening health and her worrying symptoms. She entered a cycle of regular brain scans, largely in Oxford.

Ultimately, her declining health meant she gave up her teaching, much to the detriment of the profession. She had major brain surgery and radiotherapy in 2005, costing her both her vision and her memory. Despite this setback, Hazel remained active in the local brain injury support group, Headway, inspiring a support website, www.doiknowyou.co.uk, and maintaining a hugely positive outlook in difficult circumstances.

Her heath continued to decline, and she entered residential care in 2007. She remained polite and charmingto other residents and nurses, her courage and bravery touching everyone who came into contact withher. She died on 23 November 2008. She was a remarkable woman witha huge heart, a talented teacher, a beautiful person who would never expect a thank-you but would give her all for others.

Richard Crutchley

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album