FORMER school teacher, Muriel Gittings of Southbourne, has died at the age of 98.

Muriel and her sister, Margaret, founded the Park School in Queens Park Drive in 1938 after the Palmyra School moved from Portsmouth.

Muriel and Margaret's father was an Evangelist in Dorset and further away in the 1940s and the family were all devout practising Christians who were associated with Drummond Hall in Boscombe for many years.

The sisters were proficient musicians and performed at the hall for various services, as well as leading the Sunday School and Covenanter Groups of young people at the church. In addition, she organised and led the Ladies' Fellowship at the church for members of the congregation to attend for more than 15 years.

Under the sisters' guidance, the school grew from seven pupils to more than 80 by the 1950s and eventually joined forces with St Wulfram's School in Manor Road.

Aside from her dedicated commitment to the school up to her retirement, she devoted herself to her Christian faith until her older years meant that she had to withdraw to a quieter environment.

Muriel was the youngest of a family of teachers with brother, Douglas, passing away in 1998, having been the head of Park School, and then her sister, Margaret, in 2011. All three of the siblings never married.

Along with Margaret, she moved to Sunrise Senior Living in Belle Vue Road in Southbourne and after her sister's death, Muriel moved to Kelso Nursing Home.

Muriel died on December 29 just a day before her 99 birthday. Her funeral and a celebration of her life took place at the Drummond Gospel Hall on Tuesday, January 17 followed by an interment at East Cemetery in Gloucester Road.

Donations were made instead of flowers to the Christian Workers Relief Fund and Dorset Christian Camps.