Mrs Lynda Ofner
Mrs Lynda Ofner, former Senior Administrative Officer in the School of Biological Sciences, died on 27 January 2012.
Having been a pupil at Allerton High School, Lynda studied for secretarial qualifications at the North of England Higher Secretarial College from 1968 to 1969. She worked in secretarial positions in commerce and industry for the next three years, before moving to South Africa where she married and also gained further employment experience. She gave birth to twins in 1974. Having returned to this country, Lynda worked for a number of years as secretary to one of the Partners in a firm of Solicitors in Leeds.
In 1988, Lynda was appointed Secretary to the Head of Department of Earth Sciences. She impressed immediately, not least by virtue of her qualities of loyalty, integrity and cheerful, generous willingness; these were to be hallmarks of her entire career at Leeds. She took on a more senior role in 1991, when she was appointed as Departmental Secretary in the Department of Physiology. In the years following her appointment, the workload within the departmental office grew substantially, as a result of the large increase in student and staff numbers and the impact of the introduction of modularisation. Lynda proved more than equal to the inexorable growth in the range and level of her responsibilities. She was an excellent office manager; among her many achievements was the successful introduction of new IT systems, to help in the effective management of the wide range of processes and procedures essential to the smooth running of the Department. Her writ ran large – from having responsibility for the annual updating and production of the departmental research, course and module handbooks, to the organisation of meetings of the national Physiological Society, from taking a key role in relation to undergraduate admissions, registration and examinations, to acting as PA to the Head of Department. Promoted within the clerical grades in 1996, the extent of her specialist knowledge and responsibilities was further acknowledged two years later, with her re-designation as Administrative Officer.
With the establishment of the new School of Biological Sciences, Lynda took on substantially enhanced responsibilities in the areas of quality management, examinations, student progression and staff development. Her drive, enthusiasm and organisational skills were reflected in the quality of her work in each of these areas and, in 2004, she was promoted to Senior Administrative Officer. By dint of her comprehensive knowledge of University regulations, guidelines and practices, allied to her personal warmth, approachability and instinctive helpfulness, Lynda also provided a constant source of advice and encouragement to countless colleagues and students over the years. It was a source of considerable regret to her many friends when she opted to retire early in 2006.
Most of all she will be remembered as a lady with a huge personality, full of warmth and friendship, who always tried to be helpful, often defusing situations that she fully understood. She revelled in her family, and felt sad that her young grandchildren would not remember her. She will be greatly missed by all of those who worked with her.
Lynda is survived by her husband, Heinz, twins Lisa and Marc, and grandsons Dylan and Finlay.
The funeral service took place on 7 February.