Tributes have been paid following the death of Vic Norris, the former head of drama at West Hatch High School, Chigwell.
Mr Norris died after suffering a stroke while working with his twin brother in Suffolk. He was due to move with his wife, Pam, from Woodford Bridge to Colchester in three weeks’ time.
Mr Norris, 61, was well-known for his involvement with West Hatch and in the local community.
He took early retirement in 2009 having spent some 20+ years at West Hatch but continued to work at the school as a supply teacher several days a week.
Staff and students past and present have been paying tribute to Mr Norris.
Jonathan Antoine, who with fellow former West Hatch student Charlotte Jaconelli formed ‘Jonathan and Charlotte’ and were runners-up in ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent show, paid his own tribute on the social networking site Twitter.
Jonathan posted a message which read: “Today an extraordinary man was lost. A beautiful spirit and a kind heart who will never be forgotten. Goodnight, Vic Norris, sleep well.”
Vic’s widow, Pam, said: “He was just a leading light there (at West Hatch) and in so many other ways. He was in charge of fetes, compering events and was involved with productions.”
Only recently he returned to compere the school’s summer fete which was opened by Carli, one of his three daughters, who stars in the drama series Hollyoaks.
Pam Norris added: “He was just an all-round character. He was the one everyone would go to if they wanted something organised. He was just an amazing person who did so much for charity.”
His family have been comforted by the fact that at least 12 families have been given hope thanks to Vic’s wish that his organs to be made available for transplants.
West Hatch High School Headteacher Frances Howarth said: “Vic has been such a central figure at West Hatch over the years and will be sadly missed by all of us who had the privilege of working with him.”
Caroline Haines, the school’s marketing and development director, said: “Vic was one of the good ones; a loyal, generous and fun person who it was a privilege to know."
Mr Norris leaves his wife, Pam, daughters Vikki, Carli and Sophia and four grandchildren, Daisy, Freddy, Betsy and Lola.
His funeral was held at the City of London Crematorium, Aldersbrook Road, Manor Park, on Tuesday 6 August followed by a gathering to remember Vic at West Hatch.
Mr Norris’s family requested no flowers at his funeral but donations which will help his family set up The Vic Norris Healing Sanctuary can be made via West Hatch High School.
Contributions – with cheques made payable to Pam Norris – can be sent c/o West Hatch High School, High Road, Chigwell.