She was a strict, no-nonsense teacher.
But Ms Laura Lau's kindness and dedication throughout her 25-year teaching career endeared her to her students, many of whom remember her fondly.
For Ms Sandra Lee, 34, Ms Lau's death was akin to losing a mother.
From 1993 to 1996, Ms Lee was part of the East View Secondary School netball team which Ms Lau was in charge of.
And though she was not her academic teacher, Ms Lau offered to tutor Ms Lee as the latter was struggling in her studies.
"I remember she was so angry when I turned up at her house with only my textbook," Ms Lee told The New Paper at Ms Lau's wake on Monday.
"But she never gave up on me."
Ms Lee was devastated by Ms Lau's sudden passing.
"She was the only one in my life who showed me so much concern," Ms Lee added.
Ms Lau, 46, died on Sunday after a fall last month landed her in a two-week coma from which she never recovered, Shin Min Daily News reported.
Her husband, Mr Eric Koh, told the Chinese evening daily that his wife had been inspecting a newly-installed light in their home in Pasir Ris when she fell from the ladder.
The terrace house had been under renovation for about a month and was due to be completed at the time.
Ms Lau, who joined Pasir Ris Secondary School this year, was taken to hospital and found to have internal bleeding.
Mr Koh and Ms Lau were at the second storey of the house when the accident occurred, their maid told Shin Min. She said that after the fall, Mr Koh rushed downstairs, saying that Ms Lau was seriously injured, and he asked her to get ice.
Ms Lau's head was bleeding profusely, but the maid was not sure if she was conscious, Shin Min reported.
Police confirmed that a woman was taken to Changi General Hospital on April 20 at 5.09pm.
A spokesman said police were notified at 5.28pm on Sunday that the woman had died at Gleneagles Hospital. She leaves behind her husband, a daughter, 23, and a son, whose age is not known.
Speaking to TNP at the wake, Mr Koh teared up repeatedly while sharing stories about his wife.
He said that Ms Lau was a committed teacher and often went above and beyond her call of duty. She was posted to Pasir Ris Secondary after being head of department for physical education and co-curricular activities at MacPherson Secondary from 2008 to last year.
At Pasir Ris Secondary, she held the same appointment.
Mr Koh said his wife gave her all to her work at Pasir Ris Secondary and often worked late.
"Sometimes, she wouldn't come home until the presentation she was working on was perfect," he said.
He also recalled how, when a student did not have a school shirt for an athletics event, she went all the way to Johor Baru to get one printed for him.
"The students came first for her," Mr Koh said.
After hearing news of her death, Ms Lau's students and ex-students went online to express their condolences and to pay tribute to her.
Twitter user SalihinKhamis said: "Now Ms Laura Lau is not with us anymore. She was a very good motivator and I really miss her. I just hope her family will stay strong."
This article was published on May 7 in The New Paper.
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