BOB Corkill touched the lives of thousands of people around Lismore as a teacher, colleague, friend and through worship.
The popular former Lismore Public School principal, who died following a long illness last Friday, was laid to rest at Lismore Memorial Gardens yesterday.
More than 200 people packed Lismore's St Carthages Cathedral to celebrate the life of the generous, compassionate teacher and father of eight.
Educated in Armidale and Sydney, Mr Corkill returned to study teaching at Armidale Teachers College.
It was there he met his future wife Margaret Pollard.
The couple were married at Murwillumbah and travelled around NSW when Mr Corkill was transferred between schools in the early days of his teaching career.
In 1970, Mr Corkill was appointed principal at Lismore Demonstration School (Lismore Public School).
For 22 years the devoted teacher shaped the lives of thousands of students with his caring, helpful and compassionate manner.
In 1991 he was recognised for his dedication to teaching when he was awarded the Australian Public Service Medal and the Director General's Award for Excellence.
Mr Corkhill was not long out of the classroom after retiring in 1992, when he followed in his wife's footsteps and became a Catechist, teaching the catholic faith to children at Bexhill Public School.
Soon his experience, commitment and passion were recognised, and he became the co-ordinator of Catechists at 16 schools in the region.
Son John Corkhill reflected on his father's love of rugby league, gardening, fishing, snooker and golf.
Former regional director of principals Lionel Phelps told of an outstanding teacher who was held in high esteem by everyone.
"Children have been privileged, parents have been privileged and I and others have been privileged to work with Bob, not only as a principal but as a friend," he said.
Mr Corkhill is survived by his wife Margaret, children Mary, John, Anne, Peter, Matthew, Christopher, David, Phillip, and his 16 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
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