My husband, Brian Jones, who has died aged 94, taught biology at Dulwich college, south-east London, for more than 30 years. He inspired many pupils to become leaders in their chosen professions, particularly medicine.
Brian was born in Oswestry, Shropshire, the son of Thomas Jones, a postmaster, and his wife, Cordelia (nee Edwards), and spent his childhood there and in Llanidloes, Powys. In 1939 the family moved to Windermere, in the Lake district, where Brian obtained his higher school certificate a year early at the grammar school.
When war broke out, Brian was too young for the army so filled in as a teacher at Dame Allen’s school, Newcastle, where many of the staff had been called up. The experience confirmed teaching as his chosen career.
After war service in Egypt and demob in 1947, Brian read general science at Manchester University, graduating in 1951, followed by a postgraduate teaching certificate at the Institute of Education (now part of University College London). Mollie Reid, his supervisor, recommended him for a post at Dulwich college and he joined the staff in 1952 as a biology teacher.
From 1961 to 1971 Brian was the housemaster of Blew House, one of the school’s boarding houses. He had a firm but fair approach to his teaching, with a twinkle in his eye and a legendary raised eyebrow that could quell any class.
In 1976 he became head of biology, a post he held until his retirement. As a teacher he always aimed for a balance between clear expectations and compassionate understanding of human limitations. He believed in the importance of keeping an open mind, being prepared to question and to reach conclusions based on reflection and experience.
He retired from Dulwich in 1985 but continued his work as a principal examiner for Cambridge International Examinations. He wrote several textbooks including (with Don Mackean) An Introduction to Human and Social Biology, a standard textbook for overseas students.
We met in 1990 in Swaziland, where Brian was training teachers for human biology and I was training them for commerce. We married in 1994.
In retirement, we lived in East Worldham, Hampshire, where Brian ran popular U3A biology classes (for which he said he had to relearn all his biology) until hearing problems precluded him from continuing.
He was very active in community life. Together we created a colourful garden that has opened for more than two decades for the National Garden Scheme. He edited the parish magazine until 2011, sang in the Worldham choir and frequently gave thought-provoking addresses at church services.
Brian is survived by me and by his three children, Justin, Naomi and Daniel, from his earlier marriage, to Jill Cuthbert, which ended in divorce.