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Miss Kuphal was born in Birmingham and was an only child, but she had close ties with her cousins. She went to school in Birmingham and probably went to a Catholic Girls' Grammar School. Once, an older girl was set the task of marking Betty's work (Arithmetic) and she reported to her mother that the girl had marked them all wrong. "What did you do?" her mother asked. "Oh", said Betty, "I rubbed out all of the crosses because I knew they were all right and I ticked them all instead!" That settled the matter as far as she was concerned.

A year or so before the Second World War, Betty went to Birmingham University and read Mathematics. When she had gained her degree, she applied for a post as a maths teacher. Her first post was at Builth Wells where she had digs at the local manse. She was not expected to do any work on a Sunday. However, as soon as the minister and his wife went out, she got down to work! I don't think she was ever caught.

After Builth Wells, Betty moved to Wrexham, then to Twickenham, and from there to Wolverhampton. She was appointed as a member of the Maths Department by Miss de Zouche and did not even see Miss Scargill until her first morning at School. She never taught under Miss de Zouche. When the head of the Maths Department left, Betty was appointed in her place and she held that position for 22 years until she retired from teaching in 1977.

One day she wished to speak to Miss Scargill who might be in her room. In those days it was difficult to hear when Miss Scargill called "Come in". Consequently, while you were waiting you stood with your ear to the door (as though you were eavesdropping!). Eventually Betty heard "Come in" and somehow caught her foot in the mat and landed on her knees at Miss Scargill's knees. The Head said "There is really no need to kneel when you come to see me!" and they both roared with laughter. Betty was still laughing when she reached the Staff Common room, and there she told us what had happened. Betty had a terrific sense of humour, and never minded telling a tale against herself.

Once, Miss Scargill hired a train and she, the Staff and all the girls went to see the Tutankhamun exhibition in London. When we arrived, we had a fairly short walk and Betty lead the way with her form. When we had to cross the road, a motorist stopped for her and her form to cross. What he didn't know was that round the corner were all the other forms, and Betty often wondered how long he waited for us all to cross the road. On that occasion, after seeing the exhibition, we had some free time and provided no-one went off on her own, we could choose what we would do. Betty had arranged for the three first-year forms to go in three buses for a tour of London. She had a very helpful driver who let the girls get out at Buckingham Palace. Then there was trouble - one girl had got her head stuck in the railings. Some helpful girls rushed up to tell Miss Kuphal what had happened. The girl concerned had panicked and was ready to burst into tears. Betty set about making her laugh, to make her relax. "You will have to get your head out; the Queen won't like it, particularly as she is holding a Garden Party this afternoon and she won't want you decorating the railings". That did the trick and the girl laughed. What had happened was that the upright railings were not quite the same distance apart, and as she had moved her position, she was stuck in a narrower place, so by moving either up or down her head came out easily. Everything became normal, and by the time we got back to the train, everyone in the School knew all about it.

Betty would take girls for a holiday on the continent and everyone had to wear a red beret (the normal 6th form uniform at the time) when travelling, which was a great help. She took girls for holidays in Norway, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. In 1960, she took a party of girls to Oberammergau. We stayed in Boppard in the Rhineland for most of the holiday, then crossed into Austria so that we could see the Passion Play. She woke up during the night before we moved onto Oberammergau and couldn't remember if she had ordered the packed lunches for the whole party. Typically, she did not wake me to spend the long night with her. She suffered alone and only told me next morning. Thankfully, she had ordered them so everything was all right and we weren't going to suffer a day of starvation. She was a great friend to have.

She enjoyed crosswords and her aunt once told her that those who attempted their crosswords in ink were optimists, while if you did them in pencil you were a pessimist. In spite of being called a pessimist in connection with crosswords, Betty was an optimist. She saw the funny side of many situations and we would have a laugh over lots of little things. She never complained.

Betty enjoyed her retirement. She could spend more time on Toc H and the W.I. She was a keen gardener and photographer. She enjoyed doing art and craft; collage, embroidery and quilling to name just a few activities. A highlight of Betty's retirement was a series of foreign holidays to distant destinations including Malawi, Sri Lanka, Bali, China, Egypt, U.S.A. and New Zealand.

During the Service of Celebration for her life, the vicar of Codsall, who knew her well as she was Treasurer for the Parish Magazine, commented that there must be about 150 people present to celebrate Betty's life. There were people from the church, Old Girls, former colleagues and present staff and girls from School, members of Toc H, members of the W.I., people from the village where she was well known (and I apologise if there is anyone who does not fit into any of these categories). He said that for someone of Betty's age, there was usually only a handful of people and this showed the love and esteem everyone who knew her had for her.

Miss M. CLOSE (Staff)

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