Daughter remembers 'all-round clever lady' after cancer battle

Linda Parish of Stretham was a popular driving instructor for 26 years

Linda Parish was a driving instructor for 26 years and has been described as a "strong and clever lady". - Credit: Family

The daughter of a driving instructor has paid tribute to a “strong and all-round clever lady” after her battle with bile duct cancer. 

Linda Parish of Stretham was a driving instructor for 26 years, starting at the British School of Motoring’s Cambridge branch before later running her own service. 

Linda died last month at the Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridge having been diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma in March last year, after initially being told she would have six to eight months to live. 

“She had lung cancer around seven years ago and had one of her lungs removed, so she had to give up her job at that point,” Kelly Parish, Linda’s daughter, said. 

“Since her diagnosis, she remained incredibly strong. From being told she’s got six to eight months to live, she got on with living.” 

Linda Parish with grandson in AA learner car

Linda with one of her grandsons on her lap one of the cars she used as a driving instructor - Credit: Family

The daughter of a RAF serviceman, Linda had travelled around the world to follow her father as a child, including a stay in Singapore before moving to Ely. 

As well as a spell in Soham, the Ely schoolgirl decided to follow in her stepfather’s footsteps and become a driving instructor. 

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“She was frightened training to become a driving instructor, but we were all so proud of her,” Kelly said.  

“She would be working 10 hours a day, six days a week, but she absolutely loved it.   

“My mum was quite well-known as there weren’t many female driving instructors back then, and she had around a 95 per cent first time pass rate.” 

Linda Parish of Stretham was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in March 2020

Linda Parish was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in March last year and was given six to eight months to live. - Credit: Family

Known to many as their driving instructor, Linda also had an eye for baking, as well as sewing and crochet. 

Kelly said she left an imprint on those she met, whether that was for “five minutes or hours. 

“She wanted to help other people.

"She lit up a room with her personality and her infectious laugh; she made everything light-hearted, even though she was going through the hardest time in her life.   

“That strength kept her going. She was incredibly strong and an all-round clever lady.” 

Linda, who died aged 66, leaves two children, Kelly and Darran, and seven grandchildren. 

The funeral will be held at St James’ Church in Stretham on Monday, July 26 at 11am. 

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