LONG-STANDING Bembridge resident, Yvonne Rowles, has died, aged 74, at Earl Mountbatten Hospice, surrounded by her family.

Mrs Rowles was born in 1943 in India.

In 1949, due to the rising troubles and Indian independence, the family moved to Cardiff.

She met her husband, Ian, at Swansea University and they married in 1966.

They subsequently moved to Southampton, where Yvonne became head of history at St Anne’s Catholic School for girls, before moving to the Island in 1976, following the birth of their son Dominic.

Her husband was head of languages for many years at Ryde High School before his death in 1997.

Yvonne taught English at the Isle of Wight College, and then spent 20 years managing education at HMP Albany, helping hundreds of students to improve their literacy.

She later met Howard Duffus, a former barrister who had returned to the Island from Hong Kong, with whom she spent the next decade in close companionship, travelling widely.

Yvonne was extremely active in St Michael’s Catholic Church, Bembridge, for over 40 years — a prominent choir member, reader, and organiser of many church events. She worked hard to foster links between the different Bembridge churches.

A passionate historian, she also authored in recent years a series of booklets for the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society, as well as giving a number of talks.

She leaves her partner Howard, a son, grandson, and a future granddaughter due to be born in August.

Her memorial service will be held at St Michael’s Catholic Church, Bembridge, at 2pm, on Wednesday, April 11.