FRENCH teacher Jacqueline Valvona, of Wootton, has died at the age of 90.

Born Jacqueline Françoise Lehmann in April 1928 and orphaned at one year old, she was brought up by her Aunt Lucile and Jean (John) Dorval along with two stepbrothers, Roger and Pierre. During the war in occupied France, Jean and Lucile hid her true name, giving her theirs — Dorval.

She came to England in 1954 for a few months as an au pair and landed a position with a Mrs Sanderson at Seaview on the IW.

Those few months turned out to be 64 years as it was on the Island she met Giovanni Antonio (John) Valvona and they married in April 1955.

John passed away in Spain on New Year's Eve in 1986. A few years later Mrs Valvona met Cyril Denton from Bedford, a widower who shared her love of music and dance, and they remained a couple since then.

Mrs Valvona was well-known and loved throughout the Island through her French teaching of both children and adults, her talks at France-Wight, Scottish dancing with the Caledonian Society, and her involvement in numerous causes such as the saving of Ryde Pavilion.

Her family said: "She will be missed by those that knew her and whose lives have been enriched by it: students, friends new and lifelong, her family and extended family and those of us who had the privilege of calling her Mum.

"We would like to thank all those who attended her funeral and life celebrations at the Lakeside Hotel in Wootton on Monday, and the hotel staff for their kindness and beautiful venue.

"Also Weaver Brothers for their personal touch and organisation of the funeral, celebrant Sara Weech for her guidance to create the service as we wanted it, and the emergency services and Southampton Hospital for their help and kindness in her final days."