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Obituary: Wendy Margaret Johnson

Colleagues will be very sorry to learn of the sudden death, on 9 December 2002, of Mrs Wendy Johnson, Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, Bretton Hall Campus.

As a student at Bretton Hall College, Wendy graduated with a BA in Drama and Music in 1982. In 1984, she was awarded the PGCE with Special Commendation and went on to teach Drama and English at secondary schools in Barnsley and Huddersfield for a number of years, quickly coming to be regarded as an outstanding and inspiring teacher. She returned to Bretton Hall on her appointment as Lecturer in Drama in 1991 and for the next five years taught drama across a range of programmes in both the Education and Arts Faculties, also serving for a period as the Drama course leader for the PGCE. In 1996, Wendy took a temporary one-year post at a school in Huddersfield. One year later, she was appointed to a new post at Bretton Hall, as Senior Lecturer in Drama and Drama Education In this capacity, she taught practice and theory on single and combined honours programmes, including Theatre Acting, Theatre Studies, Arts and Education, Drama within English and Performing Arts. She was also Programme Leader for the PGCE Secondary drama course. In 2000, Wendy was awarded the degree of MA in Contemporary Performing Arts. With the merger between the College and the University in 2001 and the establishment of the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, she took a leading part in the development of new school and taught on the Acting and Dramaturgy programmes, linking them with her extraordinary talent for communication and organisation. Her administrative responsibilities included serving as year tutor for both single and combined honours courses and as a programme co-ordinator.

Wendys profound interest in and knowledge of both theatre and music were deployed to the advantage of many productions at Bretton Hall. She directed a number of plays and also wrote and performed the music for several productions. A highly talented musician, she played a range of instruments, including the violin and trumpet, and her versatility was such that over the years she was a member of several orchestras, a Ceilidh Band, Swing and Big Bands and a string quartet. She also sang in a number of semi-professional choirs, including Cavalli Singers and Bretton Singers. An inspirational teacher, her creativity, energy, enthusiasm and ready sense of humour ensured she was greatly loved and respected by both her colleagues and students.

Wendy is survived by her husband, Malcolm, and their two children, Ben and Megan. The funeral service will take place at the Methodist Church, Denby Dale Road, Scissett, at 11.00 a.m. on Wednesday, 18 December 2002, to be followed by a private cremation. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Amnesty International, London EC1B 1HE.

Roger Gair, University Secretary

Published: 16 December 2002