Tributes paid to former mayoress and Newlands teacher

Tributes paid to former mayoress and Newlands teacher

Reporter:

Francis Batt

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Tributes paid to former mayoress and Newlands teacher

A popular mayoress who taught at Newlands Girls' School in Maidenhead has died.

Jo Bruton, 75, was married for more than 50 years to Dr Mike Bruton MBE, who was councillor for Belmont ward when he became Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead in 2003.

The couple who lived in Belmont Park Road, first met at school in Bristol and became friends.

Mike, 74, decided to renew the acquaintance when he was studying at Oxford University, cycling 50 miles to meet Jo again.

They married in 1961. Jo became an arts and crafts teacher while Mike became a computer consultant.

They came to Maidenhead when Mike got a job at BOAC, later BA. Jo spent more than 10 years teaching at Newlands Girls' School in Farm Road.

She was a talented painter in oils and acrylic - as well as in the art of 'batik', a traditional system of using wax and dye to create elaborate designs on cloth.

She supported Mike in his daily struggle against a debilitating mobility disease that he has bravely battled since he was a child. He used a mobility scooter for more than 20 years and was made an MBE for his work as chairman and president of the charity Disabled Ramblers.

The couple have two sons Roger and Jonathan and four grandchildren.

Jo was diagnosed with cancer in January and died on September 15.

She and Mike did not waste a second of their last months. Mike said: "We went on a Baltic cruise in August and saw all round St Petersberg.

"Jo loved being mayoress. She loved meeting people and seeing all the good things going on in the borough. It really counteracted the bad things we all see on the news."

A memorial service in memory of Jo is being held tomorrow on Friday at noon in the Methodist Church in Maidenhead's High Street.

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