A WELL-LOVED Stapleford teacher died suddenly whilst on a summer break with family and friends.
Jonathan Lee, was out biking in Nottinghamshire’s Clumber Park, when he fell off, suffered a massive heart attack and died.
Mr Lee – who was just 48-years-old – had scored his first headteacher’s job last year at St John’s Church of England Primary School in Stapleford.
Former headteacher Val Stone recommended him for the post.
She said: “He lived life to the full and was an inspiration to all who knew him.”
Besides his school role, Mr Lee was also an officer in the Nuthall Methodist Church Boys Brigade and was a driver of the church coach.
Good friend and Boys Brigade chairman Dave Tantum described him as a ‘gentle giant’ and a ‘brilliant human being’.
He said: “We became friends at Kimberley Comprehensive School and never looked back.
“He has enriched the lives of many people and will always have a special place in my heart.”
Equally generous in his praise, was ex-Boys Brigade captain John Wilson.
“While I was captain, Jonathan was the leader of the junior section and he did a brilliant job,” he said.
“He was a great ambassador for the brigade.
“He was popular with the youngsters and always went that extra mile to ensure that they had the best guidance possible.”
After university, Jonathan worked as a teacher at Horsendale Primary School in Nuthall for ten years before working at Lambley Primary School and then moving to Stapleford.
Following a cremation at Bramcote Crematorium, more than 400 mourners turned out to pay their respects at a thanksgiving service in Nuthall’s Methodist Church.
Jonathan’s son, Tom Middleton, read a brave tribute, saying his dad was his ‘best friend’ and Jonathan’s brother Trevor read out an emotional poem describing him as the family ‘jewel’.
The popular teacher leaves behind his wife Debbie, mum Julie and, as well as Tom, another son George and daughter Mollie.