A FORMER Newquay teacher known simply as "the legend" to three decades of pupils has died.
Robert Moodie died suddenly on Saturday after contracting a rare blood disease, aged 61.
He was surrounded by his family and two best friends at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro when he died.
The "gentle" husband and father of two spent nearly 30 years of his life teaching his passion for history at Treviglas Community College.
Upon taking early retirement in 2008, Mr Moodie received dozens of cards and presents from pupils and staff thanking him for always being interested and a good listener.
A tribute page celebrating his life and career has been set up on social networking site Facebook, where dozens of his former students and staff have expressed their love for him.
Mr Moodie's wife, Anne, said her husband was known as "the legend" by pupils and was a "very special" man dedicated to his profession and his family.
"He was so well loved by everybody, not just us but by the wider community," she said. "He enjoyed his teaching. He knew all the children and their parents, who he also taught – he was really interested in people."
Born in Gateshead, Mr Moodie moved to Cornwall in 1979 when he began his teaching career at Treviglas, and where he met his wife, a former French teacher at the school.
The pair married in August 1981 in Ilfracombe, Devon, where Anne is originally from, and lived in Porth for four years before moving to Truro.
They later had two children – Andrew, 24, a qualified solicitor who lives in Wales and Helen, 21, a hospitality management student at Plymouth University.
When Mr Moodie, of Tregolls Close, Truro, retired from teaching, he got a job at Lowena in Truro which provides respite breaks for the over-18s who have learning and physical disabilities.
He joined Perranzabuloe Rotary Club and was the treasurer to Truro-Morlaix Twinning Association, of which he and his wife were both members.
Mrs Moodie said he was a loving father and husband who would do anything for his family.
"He was a great dad," she said. "He was very much a part of their lives and they loved him to bits. He was so supportive and proud of them.
"He was a wonderful husband, very loving, very generous and very gentle. A true gentleman."
She added: "He was always there for you, to pick you up when you were down. He was so caring and very special."