A dedicated teacher who spent more than three decades educating children in both the classroom and the church has died.
Margaret Duckworth, 74, was well known for teaching hundreds of youngsters over 32 years at St Peter’s Primary School in Hindley.
She also spent many years teaching in the Sunday school and was a member of the choir at St Peter’s Church.
Miss Duckworth died on Tuesday, December 17 after being ill for some time.
Tributes to her have been left on the church’s Facebook page, many commenting on her smile.
Her sister Anne Mawdesley told the Observer she was “very jolly, always smiling”.
She said: “It’s lifted me to see she was remembered for that because she used to laugh so much.”
Miss Duckworth was born on Petticoat Lane, Higher Ince, in 1945 and attended Belle Green Infant and Junior School.
She went to Rose Bridge Secondary School briefly, before sitting the 11+ again and securing a place at Hindley and Abram Grammar School.
She had always wanted to be a teacher and completed her training in Bangor, North Wales.
She returned to Wigan to begin her career in the classroom, starting at Hindley Green County Primary before moving to her former school Belle Green County Primary.
When a vacancy arose at St Peter’s Primary, she was asked to apply by the vicar, who she knew from teaching in the Sunday school.
Miss Duckworth loved being in the classroom and spent 20 years teaching the reception class, before moving to the junior school.
She spent a year away from St Peter’s when she took part in a teacher exchange programme in Tasmania, Australia, in 1976, living with her uncle and aunt who had settled there.
She left teaching in 1998 due to health problems and volunteered at Wigan and Leigh Hospice, doing clerical work on the wards.
Miss Duckworth was also heavily involved with St Peter’s Church for many years.
Mrs Mawdesley said: “She loved St Peter’s. She was very involved with the church and Sunday school and the children, bringing them through for communion.
“She was very involved with everything. It was her life really.
“She was also in the choir at St Peter’s. She had a beautiful soprano voice. She used to sing in concerts for charity.”
Miss Duckworth, who never married, loved music, going to concerts and enjoying meals with her family.
Mrs Mawdesley said: “She was an avid reader.
“When she moved from her house to a downstairs flat because she could no longer go upstairs, we gave Hindley Library a lot of her books and they were astounded by how many she had.”
Miss Duckworth spent most of her adult life in Hindley, before moving to a nursing home in Poolstock.
A funeral will be held at 2pm on Friday, January 3 at St Peter’s Church in Hindley, followed by a service at Howe Bridge Crematorium.