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Beloved teacher who 'made an impact' remembered as a woman of strength

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Charlene Londt, was a Grade 3 teacher at De Kuilen Primary since 2004.
Charlene Londt, was a Grade 3 teacher at De Kuilen Primary since 2004.

The sudden passing of a beloved teacher and respected colleague just before the start of the new school year came as a shock to the Kuils River Primary School community last week.

Charlene Londt (62), who was a Grade 3 teacher at De Kuilen Primary since 2004, passed away at home due to a heart attack in the early hours of Monday 16 January – the day she was due to return to the school after the holidays.

A service to commemorate Londt was held at the school last Wednesday when learners returned for day one of the 2023 school year.

De Kuilen Primary’s principal Nico Oosthuizen said Londt was widely known and loved.

The service held at the school was attended by old and recent colleagues of Londt, as well as her children and their partners.

Oosthuizen said Grade 4 to Grade 7 learners were also involved in the farewell service as most had gone through Londt’s hands in previous years.

The first week of the new school year was a long and emotional one for De Kuilen Primary, said Oosthuizen who also attended Londt’s funeral on Saturday.

Made an impact

Many parents of Londt’s former learners and others who crossed her path commented when the school shared the sad news on their Facebook page last week Monday. Londt was described in the post as a compassionate and dedicated teacher, and a loving colleague who lightened the atmosphere with her jokes and stories.

“Mrs Londt was a pillar in the community, advocating for women and children and a big support and mentor to many of our families at school. Mrs Londt, we will miss your laughs and chats and your caring heart dearly,” it reads.

Parents commented that they and their children are heartbroken, or that they dread having to tell their child of their beloved teacher’s passing. It was said it was a privilege to have her as their children’s teacher, that she made an impact and truly cared.

Genevieve Fillis said her son who was in Londt’s class last year, was heartbroken when he heard the news.

“She was kind, respectful and always started and ended her sessions with a prayer. We will never forget her,” wrote Fillis.

Busisiwe Marupula described Londt as “a rare breed’’ of teacher who left an endilible mark. Marupula said her son is turning out to be exactly as Londt had envisioned.

“We are deeply saddened that you missed (will miss) witnessing the manifestation of the power of your words by just a few years. You spoke positivity and prosperity to your learners. I salute you for using the power of your position as a teacher to observe your learners closely and speak life upon them. You understood very well the authority and power of the tongue as an educator. Well done,” she wrote.

Former learner, Janice Wildschutt said she will remember her dear grade 3 teacher forever.

“The love and care you gave still stays with me today.”

Woman of strength

Londt was divorced. She is survived by three adult children – daughters Kelly-Ann Meyer, Keziah Bock and son Zachary Londt, and two grandchildren, Blaine (3) and Noah (1).

Bock said in a message on behalf of the siblings their mother was a woman of strong values, faith and patience.

“Her values made us who we are today as it was instilled in us. Her faith carried us through the roughest storms and sunniest of days, and her patience taught us to always work for what we want.

“No amount of time will heal our hearts. We will learn to live with the loss and we will learn to take comfort in the fact that she is walking besides us everyday.

“Our mother was a remarkable woman and she lived by the words ‘my kids, my world’, and she meant it. We, along with our husbands and her grandchildren were her world.

“She leaves a void in our hearts that will never be filled again. We remember our mom for her sense of humour, her dance moves and her constant prayers. We love you, mommy. Thank you for all that you have done for us, all on your own! Woman of strength, we salute you!”

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