Noted educationist Dame Daphne Purves has died in Dunedin just three weeks short of her 100th birthday.

A newspaper death notice said she died in hospital on Tuesday.

Dame Daphne was born and educated in Dunedin and spent all her life there.

After graduating from Otago University with an MA in languages, she was a secondary school teacher from 1931 to 1940 and again, after her family grew up, from 1957 to 1963.

For 10 years from 1963 until her retirement she lectured at Dunedin Teachers’ College.

Active in the Federation of University Women (NZFUW), she was national president of the organisation for two years in the early 1960s, and became president of the International FUW for three years from 1977, first to hold the post from the Southern Hemisphere.

She was involved with other educational and cultural groups including New Zealand’s UNESCO sub-commission on education.

A biography, Nothing Like A Dame, written by Molly Anderson, was published in 1998.

She was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in 1979.

Dame Daphne is survived by three children. Her husband, Purves, a University of Otago Medical School researcher, predeceased her.