Family, friends and pupils’ farewell to ‘gifted’ teacher

The Oxford Times: The Rev Dick Wolff takes the service. The church is crowded with family, friends and former pupils.  Pictures OX 67078 David Fleming Buy this photo The Rev Dick Wolff takes the service. The church is crowded with family, friends and former pupils. Pictures OX 67078 David Fleming

A PACKED church bade farewell to former teacher Herman David Munday yesterday.

Former pupils, friends and colleagues joined family at the funeral service held in the United Reform Church in Colinwood Road, led by the Rev Dick Wolff.

Some 150 mourners were present at the service, which some described as the biggest they had ever attended.

The Oxford Times:

Herman David Munday

There were so many people wanting to pay their respects, another hall in an adjacent building was provided for those who could not find a seat, where a video of the service was broadcast.

The coffin, adorned with flowers, was carried inside by pallbearers and two of Mr Munday’s grandsons.

Tributes to the well-known deputy head of both Blackbird Leys County Primary School and Bayswater Middle School were led by his son Richard, 54, who read a eulogy and thanked former pupils for their messages on Facebook.

Mr Munday’s second son Philip, 52, and his six grandchildren then recalled memories from his diaries and youngest son Andrew, 50, read the Bible extract from Romans 12:1-13.

He said: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us... if it is teaching, then teach, if it is to encourage, then give encouragement, if it is giving, then give generously”.

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A reflection on Mr Munday was then read by Mr Wolff, in which he described his long friendship with the teacher through the church saying he was an “optimistic man”.

The hymns Father, I Place into Your Hands and How Great Thou Art were also sang during the service.

It was followed by Swing Low, Sweet Chariot as the coffin and family departed from the church.

Former pupil of the late 70s and friend Jessica Cox, 45, pictured left, from Sutton Courtenay, said it had been a fitting tribute.

She added: “I knew Mr Munday both as a pupil and a friend, because after leaving school I used to visit him once a month.

“He was a man who didn’t command respect, he just got it. I still used to call him ‘sir’, long after I left school.

“Mr Munday was a lovely man and a good friend.”

Five-decades-long friend Ray Sergeant, of Risinghurst, said he had first met Mr Munday through church and became firm friends over time. He said: “He always had a smile on his face and was always happy to see you.

“I was privileged to know him.”

Donations were collected at the service for eco-park Hill End, based on Eynsham Road between Botley and Farmoor, to which Mr Munday had taken many school trips.

Mr Munday died on April 23, following a long period of illness.

His wife, Sheila, died in 1996.

He is survived by his three sons and six grandchildren, Greg, Joe, Kathryn, Rachel, Anna and Toby.

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