Long-loved and respected teacher Jenny Griggs was farewelled by hundreds of family members and friends in Tauranga yesterday.

A memorial service was held for the former Tahatai Coast School deputy principal, 66, at Holy Trinity after she passed away while on holiday with her family in Australia after a short battle with cancer. Mrs Griggs is survived by husband Lyle, children Rebecca, Jenny and Dale and four grandchildren.

The popular teacher was yesterday described as a family woman with a huge heart, welcoming home and being "so much about people".

Many tributes spoke of Mrs Griggs' willingness to open her home to anyone, always treating friends as family, with "legendary" hospitality.


Her top priority was family.

Second to that came her 47-year teaching career in which she had a huge impact on staff, students, parents and communities of the schools she worked in, former Tahatai Coast principal Mark Beach said.

"Jenny was held in such respect and high esteem among the community."

Mr Beach had launched Tahatai Coast School with Mrs Griggs in 1996 and was "one of the most creative and innovative teachers" he had worked with.

"She had a deep and lasting relationship with Tahatai Coast School and its community."

Thoughts shared from previous colleagues with Mr Beach described Mrs Griggs as having an amazing connection with students, being an approachable and trustworthy colleague and "the best listener".

Mrs Griggs enjoyed a good party and would often be found dancing to the likes of Abba's The Way Old Friends Do, a friend said.

Mrs Griggs' daughter, Rebecca Griggs, said she shared hundreds of happy memories with her mother made during several family holidays.

Abba's The Way Old Friends Do played as a visual tribute was shown and the service ended with Engelbert Humperdinck's Ten Guitars.

Mrs Griggs taught at Mount Maunganui Primary, Mount Maunganui Intermediate and Tauranga South School before moving to Tahatai Coast in 1996 as assistant principal.

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