Linda Bayfield, wife of Rabbi Tony Bayfield, the chief executive of the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain (RSGB), died on Monday after losing her battle against cancer.

Mrs Bayfield was a teacher at Jews Free School (JFS), then based in Camden, before joining Akiva Jewish Primary School in Finchley's Sternberg Centre, East End Road, where she became headteacher in 1996.

In 2000 she was forced to retire because of ill health. She took a full and active part in her dual roles as headteacher and wife of Rabbi Bayfield.

Andrew Gilbert, chairman of the RSGB, which represents Reform Jewry across the country, said: "Linda was such a special person. She had a deep and abiding commitment to the principles of Reform Judaism and was a pillar of great strength to Tony. Mrs Bayfield had been receiving treatment for cancer for much of the last three years. Showing supreme courage, she continuied to take an active part in the Reform movement during periods of remission.

"She will be greatly missed for her learning, teaching skills and great personal charm," said Mr Gilbert.

Mrs Bayfield, who lived with her husband in Hampstead Garden Suburb, is survived by her husband and her children Daniel, Lucy and Miriam.

Around 500 people attended her funeral at Hoop Lane Cemetery, Golders Green at midday on Tuesday.