A FORMER headteacher who taught generations of families has been remembered as a "true gentleman" who loved life and everyone in it.

The son of a deputy headteacher, Doug Kyte was well known in his home village of Toft Hill, near Bishop Auckland.

Born in 1927, he attended Toft Hill Primary School and went on to grammar school before following in his father Stanley Kyte's footsteps and studying education, at Durham University.

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It was there that he met his wife and fellow teacher, Ruth.

The couple married in 1951 and had two daughters Elizabeth Jude and Jane Kyte-Hunt.

Mr Kyte had only been in his first teaching post three weeks before he was called up for national service which he completed with the Durham Light Infantry in 1947.

Afterwards, he spent 17 years teaching at Cockton Hill School, in Bishop Auckland, before taking up the post of deputy headteacher at neighbouring Woodhouse Close Junior School.

In 1969 he was appointed headteacher at Toft Hill Primary School, where his own father had taught and enjoyed many happy years until his retirement in 1983 at the age of 55.

Mrs Kyte-Hunt said her father loved teaching and was a natural with children - often illustrating his teaching with little cartoons to help the children learn.

"He was very charismatic and big hearted and decent - a true gentleman," she said. "He probably knew every family in Toft Hill."

As well as teaching, Mr Kyte was well-known for his involvement in the village including being a parish councillor and helping organise the village's fireworks and carnival day.

Following his retirement he was able to enjoy his love of reading and trips out.

Mr Kyte passed away at home on January 18. His funeral will be held at St Cuthbert's Church, Etherley, today, at 1pm and followed by refreshments at Toft Hill Community Centre.

YOUR TRIBUTES TO MR KYTE

Lindsey Temple-Heald: "Mr Kyte taught me many years ago at Cockton Hill Junior School, and I can honestly say he was the best teacher I ever had. He was kind, thoughtful and encouraging, and I have never forgotten him. RIP Mr Kyte, and I am sure many people will remember you with respect and affection."

Gina Newell: "I remember him from Woodhouse Close Juniors. He always made sure when you finished your school dinner that you placed your knife and fork straight on your plate. He said it was good manners. Sorry to hear the sad news."

Graeme Patterson: "What a great teacher. Huge influence on me. RIP Mr Kyte."

Michael Rudd: "An absolutely outstanding man and teacher. Was in his class at Woodhouse Close Juniors and it was a pleasure going to school, R.I.P Doug." 

Pauline Rossi nee Harness: "I don't really remember much about most of my teachers but always remember Mr Kyte with great affection.  He was indeed a great man and the perfect teacher.  He taught me at Cockton Hill Junior school in the 1950s.  RIP."