Brentwood School leads tributes to John Killilea

Brentwood School Headmaster Ian Davies has led tributes to Brentwood teacher John Killilea who has died unexpectedly in his sleep.

John Killilea had taught PE and maths at Brentwood School during his 30 year stay at Brentwood School, and also served as the school’s basketball coach before his retirements in July 2016.

Paul Golder says:

I was very sad to hear about Mr Killilea’s passing. He taught me while I was a pupil at Coopers Coborn School in Upminster in the 1980s. When I worked at Brentwood School in the mid 1990s as the school accountant, I found myself in the unusual position of controlling the budgets of someone who used to make me run around the fields!

As a colleague I found John to be a very friendly, calm and relaxed person, always happy to pop by and have a chat and someone who really enjoyed life. His untimely death will sadden many thousands of local people who met him and my thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

A statement published by Brentwood School read:

It is with great sadness that we inform you that our friend and colleague Mr John Killilea passed away unexpectedly in his sleep over the weekend. Headmaster, Ian Davies, held a special assembly for students and staff this morning. Here’s what he said:

“We are meeting this morning to remember a member of staff who, very sadly, passed away during the Bank Holiday weekend.

Mr Killilea was very highly regarded and widely respected. He was a real gentleman, kind and sensitive to the needs of others and always keen to help.

He started at Brentwood School in 1986, and positively influenced many Brentwood School students past and present, either on the sports field or in the classroom.

Initially appointed as a Teacher of PE, Mr Killilea proved particularly popular on the basketball court where his experiences as a former GB International led Brentwood School to many forays on the National School’s Basketball Championship including an overall victory in the 1990’s.

Mr Killilea soon progressed to Housemaster of East House and Examinations Officer before being promoted to Director of Co-Curricular activities.

Many of you will know him as a teacher of Maths but it was on the sports field where his real passion shone through.

His undoubted experience and enthusiasm has been a significant factor in sport at Brentwood School being represented on the national stage across a wide variety of activities and he will be sorely missed by all of us.

Many of you here will know his daughter, who is now in the Third Year, and son, who is in the Prep School. Both of them, and his wife, will need all the love and support we can give them in the next months and years ahead.”

The funeral will be held at St Peter’s Church, South Weald at 1pm on Tuesday 22nd May, with a private committal at Bentley’s Crematorium after the service.

Everyone is invited to refreshments after the service at the Old Brentwoods Club, Ashwells Road. The family have requested that there are no flowers. Donations will go towards setting up a fund in memory of John to help develop young athletes.