21 Aug '13

News Petra Tripp obituary

My friend Petra Tripp, who has died aged 55, was a wonderful woman with a huge heart and to many of her friends was one of the heroines of daily life. She was always positive and ready to encourage others, even through the 15 years during which she was being treated for cancer. She insisted that she simply had a chronic condition and continued to enjoy life to the full, which included reading the Guardian every day, completing the crossword and enjoying a glass of red wine.

She was born Petra Beran in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, where she went to the local grammar school. She was an accomplished linguist, started her university education in Germany, and finally completed a master's in English literature at Kent University.

She initially worked in the financial sector, for Bain Clarkson, International Benefits and Bupa. However, having changed direction in the early 1990s she was happiest working as a German teacher, at St Lawrence college, Ramsgate, Dover college and Canterbury Christ Church University.

During her youth she had travelled extensively and gained great pleasure from her adventures in Africa, America and Europe.

In 1989 she married Gerald Tripp, and they settled in Ramsgate and had two children, Fiona and Oliver, to whom Petra was a loving mother. Petra walked her greyhound Perry along the Ramsgate seafront and it was through our mutual concern for the plight of retired greyhounds that she and I became friends.

Gerald, Fiona and Oliver survive her.

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