Durban - Condolences continue to pour in for Clifton School teacher Heather Bensch, who died in a road crash on Thursday while travelling to Grahamstown to watch her son play rugby.
The Independent boys' school in Durban said on Saturday that the Clifton School community was devastated at the loss of Bensch.
“Mrs Heather Bensch, a long-standing and dearly loved member of our Clifton staff, tragically passed away in a motor vehicle accident on Thursday. Heather was en route to Grahamstown to watch her son play rugby for the Clifton 1st XV,” said the school.
The school said Bensch joined the Clifton staff in 2008, and over the past 14 years, had been a valuable member of the Clifton College staff.
“A colleague, a mentor, a teacher and a dear friend, Heather will be missed by all those whose lives she touched.”
Clifton School extended its condolences to her husband, two sons, their family and friends.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they come to terms with their loss. The Clifton flag is flying at half-mast, and any members of the Clifton community that would like to may leave flowers, messages and tributes to Heather on the benches and Founders’ lawn.”
In reaction to the news of Bensch’s passing on the school’s Facebook page, Clifton staff member Wendy Meyer said words could not express her sadness.
“The most beautiful, gentle lady and colleague who has touched the lives of so many. An incredible and passionate teacher and mom,” she said.
Julia Ambler said Bensch stood out as a teacher who has shared her love of learning with her sons.
“A firm favourite. I can only hope her loved ones can take some solace knowing just how much she impacted the world in her lifetime,” said Ambler.
Susan Matthysen said “Sometimes in life, our children are blessed with educators who do far more than educate.”
Matthysen said Bensch unconditionally, empathetically and wisely taught the children who passed through her hands and gave much more than was written in the books.
She said Bensch was a true professional with the heart and humour of a mother who always had time to listen.
“I thank you for your impact on my son. I hope you knew how much he valued your being in his life,” said Matthysen.
Toni Larkan said Bensch was an incredible teacher and a wonderful friend whose gentle smile, kindness, council and warm heart will be sorely missed.
He said Bensch made such a profound and positive impact on those who were blessed to have known her.