JOHN Clarkson, who died in Winchester on October 8 at the age of 92, will be remembered by many as the head of the Economics department at Peter Symonds College.

John was born in Richmond, Surrey on 23 June 1931. He was the second son of Fred and Irene (Rene) Clarkson. His father, a policeman in the Metropolitan Police, was originally from the Isle of Wight and the young family spent holidays there, so when war broke out Rene and the boys moved to Wroxall while Fred initially remained in London.

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John grew up on the Island, attending Wroxall Primary School and Sandown Grammar. He was a proficient Scout, earning the King’s Scout Award (the highest award in Scouting), and was also a keen footballer. In the summers, he worked as a lifeguard and on the pedalos at Shanklin.

After leaving school, John studied Economics at Southampton University, where he was one of the first cohort to receive his degree after the university received its royal charter and was chosen to model the university’s new academic robes. For his National Service after graduating, he served as a sergeant in the Royal Army Educational Corps in Dortmund, and this began his lifelong commitment to teaching.

After National Service, John taught economics at Regents Park Boys School in Southampton and then at King Edward VI School. In 1974 he was recruited to head the Economics department at the formation of Peter Symonds College, and he remained there until his retirement.

Former students and colleagues recall that he was an unassuming and compassionate teacher of the old-school type, a gentle giant whose personality filled the room.

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Outside work, he was a lifelong sportsman, in his youth playing football for Eastleigh and coaching swimming in Southampton, then for the past 51 years being a keen member of Stoneham Golf Club where he was elected Captain in 1999. His home-grown vegetables were renowned, as were the soups and hotpots he made with them.

In retirement, John’s interest in economics never dimmed and his recent diaries are full of trenchant political commentary. He continued to play golf until around five years ago and was still harvesting beans, potatoes and tomatoes this year.

John’s marriage to Sally ended in divorce, and they had no children. He leaves two nieces, the daughters of his late brother Peter, and many friends.