A Largs woman who inspired thousands of pupils to enjoy classical music has died at the age of 94, writes Drew Cochrane.

Well-known Jean Donaldson, who also devoted much of her life to community organisations died at Hutton Park Care Home in the town recently, and a funeral service was held at her "beloved" St John's Church.

Close friend, next door neighbour and Church of Scotland Reader, Magnus Ross, who took the service alongside the Rev. Jonathan Fleming, said that Miss Donaldson had made a huge contribution to education in Scotland through her long involvement in the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association and General Teaching Council.

As a music teacher she had introduced her pupils to the enjoyment of classical music.

Mr Ross added that Jean had a legendary razor sharp intellect and held forthright views. Some colleagues described her as having "a directness of speech with a rhinoceros skin to match."

"Underneath she had a soft centre and vulnerability which she shared sparingly. She was a very unique character."

Rev. Fleming said that Jean was one of three children to Matthew and Elizabeth Donaldson, with brothers Hugh and Guy. After schooling in Largs she began her working life in a bank while studying music privately as a licenciate of the London School of Music.

After gaining her teaching qualification at Jordanhill College in Glasgow she became Music Teacher at Stevenston High and Auchenharvie Academy where she was also Guidance Teacher.

"As a House Mistress she was a force to be reckoned with. As a life-long member of Largs Golf Club she also took time to teach pupils how to play golf."

Through her great love and knowledge of music she took pupils to classical concerts in Glasgow and continued to support Scottish Opera, Scottish National Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Ballet, accompanied in her later years by faithful friend Morag Morrison.

Through her dedication to education she was a vice-president and Life Member of the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association and a member of the General Teaching Council for whom she advised on the Bachelor of Education for Music qualification.

Rev. Fleming added that she had a great passion for travel and visited all parts of the world, often accompanied by her late brother Hugh who had been a teacher at Largs High School. Often they would set off on the first day of summer holidays, not returning until the resumption of school time.

He quipped: "Where she went in the world, revolutions followed."

From cradle to grave she was entwined in Largs community life, helped to found the Crossroads charity group in town, and support many organisations, including the Players theatre club and the former Brisbane Queen Festival. She was proud of the fact that she never owned a television, preferring to listen to radio.

The church service, attended by family and friends, was followed by a committal service at the old Largs cemetery at Haylie Brae.