Keith Robert Roe

Keith Robert Roe, BEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering, 1975, (April 1954 – May 2014) achieved much in his all-too-short life here. Educated at Firth Park Grammar School and the University of Sheffield (and at a later stage at the University of Nottingham where he was awarded his Masters degree) he became a teacher of Mathematics and taught at a school in Castleford, Brinsworth School in Rotherham and two Derbyshire schools, Bolsover School and Highfields School in Matlock. At Highfields he managed to weld a group of good teachers into a strong and united team producing outstandingly good results as well as outstandingly good teaching. As a result he was promoted from Head of Mathematics to Assistant Head with responsibilities for the crucial areas of the curriculum and timetable. He made a very significant contribution to the management of a very successful comprehensive school.

Colleagues remember him with great respect as an inspirational teacher of his subject. Countless students – and their parents – have been very grateful for what he did for them. A teacher who can communicate his love for his subject and also demonstrate his deep concern for his students to the extent that Keith did is rare. He believed strongly in the importance of schooling and in setting a good example of hard work, honesty and integrity. He was an excellent schoolmaster, thinking deeply, radically and progressively about education. He was an active sportsman in his younger days but even more marked was his passion for music. He gave strong support to the Head of Music in his last school and was a major influence in ensuring that the school maintained its fine musical tradition.

His contribution to the musical life of the city of Sheffield was greater still and he will be remembered with gratitude for the pleasure he gave to so many. Sheffield Fellowship concerts, of which he was the prime mover and driving force, filled the City Hall twice on a December Sunday for many years, as a result of which over £125,000 was raised for charity, particularly local hospitals. Keith’s musical tastes were eclectic and he was an accomplished conductor, orchestral player, arranger of music and singer, and had the happy knack of being able to coordinate a massive musical evening with a light touch.

Few can have done more in their lives to enhance the lives of other people and he will be greatly missed by his friends and family. He is survived by his mother, who herself played a crucial role in Sheffield Fellowship, and an elder sister Della, now living with her family in Lincoln.

DWM