SHE helped educate many of Southampton's children during a teaching career that spanned more than 40 years.

A meticulous, well-known and much loved teacher, Jacqueline Mary Cowie has passed away aged 78 after a short battle with a rare form of cancer.

Jackie's teaching career started at Wildground Junior School in the late 60s and she continued to share her passion for teaching in schools including Hollybrook, Portswood, Aldermoor and St Mark's.

Art was her first love and this was no better illustrated than by her highly acclaimed displays of her pupils artwork in the schools tent at the Southampton Show on the Common in the 70s and 80s.

After leaving St Anne's, she initially pursued a career in banking that saw her work at the Midland Bank in Below Bar where she was involved in the finances of some of the major shipping lines.

Jackie moved to London where she worked at the foreign office before a return to Southampton where she embarked upon a teacher training course at La Sainte Union College of Higher Education.

She began her career as Miss Simpson and soon became Mrs Cowie with her marriage to Donald in 1967.

Having dedicated her working life to teaching children in Southampton, Jackie was always reminded of her good work as she bumped into former pupils in the supermarket or at Westquay. She also continued to teach on a supply basis into her 70s.

Outside the classroom, Jackie loved family, friends, gardening, her Mazda Mx-5, fashion and travel, particularly in South Africa.

Immaculately dressed with an extensive collection of shoes, Jackie was an elegant lady.

She was also passionate about her local area and was an active committee member of the East Bassett Residents Association who liked to feed the hedgehogs who visited her garden.

Jackie is survived by her husband and son John, who have thanked the wonderful staff at Mountbatten Hampshire and are fundraising for the hospice in her memory.