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Community shocked and saddened by death of popular teacher

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Community shocked and saddened by death of popular teacher thumbnailMr Graham Peters.

THE death of a popular teacher at Drumragh Integrated College, Omagh, has left the local community in shock.

Graham Peters, who was aged in his 40s, passed away on Friday after a short illness. The father-of-three, was originally from Wales but lived near Aughnacloy and taught English at the Omagh school. His funeral took place on Sunday at St James Parish Church.

A statement from Drumragh Integrated College read: "The Drumragh Family is devastated at the tragic loss of the unique and wonderful Graham Peters, following his short battle with cancer.

"Our hearts go out to his family and all who have been touched by this truly great man. Thank you to all who have made contact to pay tribute to Graham and to stand with us in our grief. The college community will celebrate Graham's amazing life next term."

West Tyrone Alliance Party representative, Stephen Donnelly, who is a former pupil of the school, described Mr Peters as a "humorous giant" who had a "booming voice when required".

"Graham Peters was my first English teacher when I was 11," Mr Donnelly said. "He is a staple part of the memories us old hands have of the crumbling hospital building in which we learned for years.

"He was a humorous giant - with a booming voice when required.

"I was lucky enough to get to speak to him one more time after leaving school as I returned for a visit during the 2015 Westminster campaign - not knowing how little time he had left.

"I wish the staff at the school, the wider Drumragh family and his inner family the strength to deal with this - the loss of a total and utter legend."

 

Also taking to social media to pay tribute to Mr Peters was Josiah Whitworth who said he was the "best English teacher" he had known, adding: "You are and were an inspirational human."

Tashia Curran wrote: "Heartbreaking - some people don't understand how, even years after you have left a school, a teacher's passing can affect you. But when these people have made us who we are, it's hard for it not to."

Jonny Allison remembered Mr Peters as "a legend and a true great".

"Easily ranking as one of the best all-time teachers anywhere, he was also a true friend and a fantastic family man," he said.

"Mr Peters was inspirational, he had a talent for understanding his students' needs and getting the very best out of them.

"Graham made education and learning fun and interesting, he made it relevant and worthwhile for all young people who were lucky enough to be taught by or came into contact with him. Graham Peters changed countless lives for the better."

West Tyrone MLA., Daniel McCrossan, added: "I'm so very sorry to hear of such a tragic, yet great, loss of such a young man and very well respected and much-loved teacher.

"My thoughts are with the Peters family, their loved ones and with the team and pupils at Drumragh."

Mr Peters is survived by his wife Karen and children Ben, Joshua and Daniel.

The funeral service took place on Sunday, followed by private family burial in St George's Parish Churchyard, Crilly. The family requested that donations in lieu of flowers be made to cancer-related charities.

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