Chris Trueman - November 2011
Chris was an only child, the son of military parents who were constantly moving around the globe on postings. He was born in Yeovil, “in passing”; then spent his childhood in Europe, West Africa and Singapore. After teacher training at St Luke’s College he began his teaching career at Bletchley Grammar School in 1971, where he soon displayed his understanding for young people with any sort of need. In these early years he set up the first internal withdrawal unit for troubled pupils in Buckinghamshire.
In 1986 he and his wife moved the family to Warton, and in 1987 he went to work at Skerton Community High School. The school won his whole heart and he worked there until only two months before his death, ending his professional career as Head of School. He was highly respected and greatly loved at the school by colleagues and pupils alike.
Alongside his professional career Chris had many varied interests – mountain walking, amateur dramatics, photography. He was fascinated by history in all its forms and would pounce on any piece of scrap, junk, stone or paper if he thought it had any historical significance! It would then have to be hoarded or displayed somewhere in the house.
With his long experience of troubled youngsters it was suggested he should become a magistrate. This he did in 1995, and he very much enjoyed the role, which he fulfilled admirably.
Devoted to his family, he was a loving and slightly indulgent father, totally committed to his three children and then their partners. He encouraged them in their various professions and supported them in their varying interests. He would spend evenings at the pub with his father and father in law, running pub quizzes and enjoying the craic.
No short account of Chris’ life would be complete without reference to his passion for driving and motorbikes. Having enjoyed his MG and motorbikes when he was younger, he rediscovered his love for machines with his much-loved Honda Shadow and described himself as “The Bald Biker”.
After his diagnosis with oesophageal cancer in 2009, Chris announced his family car as ‘much too sensible’ and he moved over to a Mazda MX5 which he loved to drive, polish and embellish with suitable ornament! Only 6 weeks before his death he was driving on the mad mountain roads of Corfu.
He lived with illness in his characteristically positive and up-beat way. He always wanted to encourage others who may also be suffering and remained incredibly strong and busy right until the end. He was an amazing husband, father, son, father in law, son in law, teacher, friend. He died peacefully at St Johns Hospice on 22nd November 2011, surrounded by his family and tended lovingly by the wonderful staff there.