Teacher and stalwart of Gaelic; Born April 16, 1949; Died July 24, 2009.

Valerie Thomson, who has died aged 60 after being hit by a lorry while crossing Great Western Road in Glasgow, was a popular teacher, first at Laurel Bank School in the city's west end, later at Glasgow Gaelic Secondary school in Berkeley Street and, most recently, at Glasgow Academy, where she was head of the department of home economics.

She was also a proud guardian of Gaelic, the language she was brought up speaking on Islay, although she had been born in Glasgow. It was she who introduced her husband, Kenneth, to the Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association, affectionately known as the GG, where he has been choir conductor, arranger and a general driving force on behalf of the Gaelic language and music for the past 26 years.

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Thomson did not sing in the choir, Scotland's oldest Gaelic choral group dating back to the nineteenth century, but acted in many of its productions and was much loved as voluntary cook and caterer at its meetings and events.

Thomson had officially retired upon her 60th birthday in April but was back at Glasgow Academy part-time to teach home economics to senior pupils. She was walking from the school on Colebrooke Street to her home on Cleveden Drive when she was killed in what was described as a hit-and-run.

Mary Valerie Ferguson was born in 1949 to an old Islay family, although her mother had come to a Glasgow nursing home to give birth. She went to the island's Portnahaven primary but came back to the mainland to attend St Columba's in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, at the time a girls-only school.

It was in Glasgow that she met Kenneth Thomson, originally from Campbeltown, who was a manager in the National Health Service. After they married in 1971, she took him to meet her friends at the Ceòlraidh Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu, the Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association, which became a huge part of their lives.

Whenever Kenneth led the choir to prizes and medals at the National Mod, including the Lovat and Tuillibardine Trophy at the 2007 Mod in Fort William, it was Valerie who prepared the food at the subsequent parties or after their rehearsals in Partick South Church on Dumbarton Road.

After Thomson's tragic death, the current president of the "GG", Gordon McKeeve, said: "I am absolutely gutted. We are all heartbroken for the family. She was a very unassuming person and nothing was ever a problem for her. She was singularly the nicest person I've ever met. She and Kenneth have been a great support to the choir."

Dr Bill Kerr, general manager of Glasgow Academy, described her as a "passionate and dedicated teacher. The whole school is shocked and saddened. She had a wonderful way with the children. They will be devastated."

Thomson's husband had retired from the NHS several years ago after minor surgery. Their son, Fergus, is a Glasgow lawyer; their daughter, Alison, a dentist in Edinburgh. One of Mrs Thomson's brothers, Duncan Ferguson, is headmaster of Plockton High School, the other, Angus, a lecturer at Reid Kerr College in Paisley. She is survived by her husband, two children, two brothers and three grandchildren. By PHIL DAVISON