TRIBUTES have been paid to a former teacher from Denbighshire known for the bravery she showed in her fight against Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Gwenda Owen, 69, from Ruthin, was diagnosed with MND, which is a progressive disease that affects the brain and spine, in March 2017. She died last Thursday night (February 21).

Mrs Owen was a teacher at Ysgol Gynradd Pentrecelyn in Ruthin during the 1980's and 90's. It was there that she had trained numerous successful individual performers and took charge of a host of musical productions and reciting groups as the school won countless prizes at Eisteddfodau.

Following her appointment as Head of Ysgol Llandrillo, near Corwen, the success continued as she led the school to glory in local and county Eisteddfodau.

After being diagnosed with MND two years ago, Mrs Owen campaigned for a change in the law to allow terminally ill people to be able choose to end their own lives.

Paying tribute to his late wife, John Owen, said: "She faced her illness head on and with a sense of humour too. She would often tell me that she was grateful for the endless waves of support from those around her.

"In particular, she was thankful to those from the MND community, the social services team, her carers and nurses, the Gwaengoleugoed and Cyndeyrn centres and Ruthin Hospital, where she spent the last four months of her life. She shared her infectious joy within those circles."

Ruthin Councillor and close friend Emrys Wynne added: "Gwenda Owen's passing will be felt by so many. She will be remembered by her former pupils who attended Ysgol Pentrecelyn and Ysgol Llandrillo and who were encouraged to develop their various talents.

"Members of Capel Tabernacl, where Gwenda was an Elder, will be so grateful to her for ensuring that there was a Sunday School for the younger children on Sunday mornings.

"Our heartfelt thoughts are with her husband, John and her three sons, Dyfan, Trystan, Ifor and their families."

Last year, Mrs Owen had won the Urdd's John and Ceridwen Hughes Uwchaled Prize for her contribution to the lives of youngsters in Wales.

She was also the organiser and secretary for the Edeyrnion Local Committee for a number of years and had supported schools and communities across Denbighshire by creating scripts for stage productions.

Llandrillo Councillor Mabon ap Gwynfor said: "Gwenda did an awful lot for my local area. Not only as a former headteacher at Ysgol Llandrillo, but also in her activities with the Urdd and in inspiring a number of young people.

"The Welsh language is in a much healthier state in this day and age and that was helped on by her tireless work on behalf of it and Welsh culture as a whole.

"Gwenda's death is a massive loss and I would like to send my deepest condolences to her family, whilst also thanking her for leaving behind such a legacy in our area."