HIS chuckle, warmth and sense of humour were referred to often at the funeral service for Paul Niklaus at Colebrooke Parish Church on Friday, June 30.

The service was taken by the Rev Robert Gordon and the church bells were tolled.

Tributes were given by son Giles Niklaus and granddaughter Libby Connor, as well as his sister Hedli Tanner, who spoke about “Family Man”, and friend, George Aplin, whose tales of fun and lots of anecdotes had people smiling and laughing again when he spoke about his years of friendship and some of their escapades.

Speaking about Paul as a teacher, Adam Box, who shared many years at QE teaching with Paul, said it had been a real honour to be asked to say a few words about him.

He spoke about Paul’s chuckle and warmth, his humour, how he was a great teacher and how lives were enriched through knowing Paul.  Stella Trimmer gave the Reading from Thessalonians. 

Giving Paul’s life story, Liz Buzzard said Paul was born in Blackpool in October, 1939, the first of the three children of Robert and Thelma Niklaus. 

The family moved to Topsham in 1952 when his father was appointed Professor of French at Exeter University. 

Paul went to Exmouth Grammar School, gained a Certificate of Education at St Luke’s Training College, studying Pure Maths, Modern Algebra, Statistics, Applied Maths and History of Mathematics.

He later gained a Bachelor of Philosophy (Education) from Exeter University. 

His first teaching job was in 1963 at Vincent Thompson Boys Secondary Modern School in Exeter.  In 1972 he moved to Shelley Secondary Modern School in Crediton, staying there for the rest of his career.

Paul was involved when the school merged with Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School to become Queen Elizabeth’s Community College with around 1,500 pupils. 

Paul and Elizabeth were married in 1965 in Withycombe Church, Exmouth, they had four children.  They moved to Coleford as it had always been a dream to live in the countryside near the birds. 

For 30 years Paul was a Sea Scout Leader, supporting various Sea Scout activities and committees.  He instructed canoeing and, said Liz Buzzard “taught his unique brand of cooking and surviving in the Devon wilderness”.

As well as teaching and other school activities, Paul had continued to use his huge talent with woodwork to build furniture, house extensions and kitchens. 

His services to teaching and achievement in schools were recognised by the late Queen when he was invited to Buckingham Palace.

Liz Buzzard said Paul was also a Governor for Hayward's Primary School where his children and, later, grandchildren went to school.  He was a founding member, chairman and then treasurer of the Exeter Society for Curriculum Studies; was elected to Colebrooke Parish Council in 1993.  In retirement he took up jam making and jelly making.

He and Elizabeth had eight grandchildren.

Burial followed at Colebrooke.  Donations were for the RSPB and may be made through funeral directors A White and Sons, Albert Road, Crediton EX17 2BZ.