Andrea Keighley Obituary

Andrea Keighley (CR 2011-2022), exceptional teacher of Modern Languages and the first Housemistress of Ivy House, passed away in October after a period of prolonged illness. 

Andrea’s promotion record was outstanding. On her appointment as Head of French at Bradfield College in 1995 aged just 25, she was soon promoted to Head of Modern Languages and then, aged just 33, to the Senior Management Team as Head of Girls. Bradfield was about to go fully co-educational and Andrea was seen as the right person to take them through this transition. She subsequently had a career break with children but then Marlborough College spotted her talent and asked her to open and run Ivy House as House Mistress in 2012. Prior to all this, on meeting up with friends in ‘The Sun’ in 2003, she also met Pete (CR 1995-2023). He recognised her talents, but perhaps in a different way, and asked her to marry him just 11 weeks later.

Andrea started her formal education in Richmond Grammar School, gaining 4 A levels before moving onto Leeds to study French and also Russian from scratch which involved a year living in St Petersburg, Russia. Following her PGCE, ever passionate for languages, she decided to study for a Maitrise in Paris. As if this wasn’t enough, with Hannah starting school and Mimi just starting nursery, an Italian GCSE was too tempting. Under just a little pressure to do well, she did indeed manage an A*.

Unfortunately though, Andrea was beset with illness: she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in February 2017, thus forcing her out of Ivy House, and then with stage 4 bowel cancer in August 2022. Those who knew her never ceased to be amazed at her bravery and her love of life; those who also knew her well, knew that this was rooted in her love for Jesus Christ. She cycled from London to Paris in 2018 raising £5,900, ‘Walked to the Stones’ in 2019 and raised £2,500 and walked for Parkinson’s with her family in 2021 raising £5,500.

Andrea died on the 23rd October 2023. Pete, Hannah and Mimi were humbled by her memorial service in chapel, attended by nearly 800. Those who were able to attend knew how exceptionally kind and loving she was, as well as her confidence in going to heaven and the legacy of love she left for her family.