Thom Yorke's former partner Dr Rachel Owen has died at the age of 48 after a long battle with cancer. Her health had been slowly declining over the last year, but she continued to teach as a lecturer at an Oxford college until the very end.
Rachel Owen, a Retained Lecturer in Italian, photographer and artist, passed away on Sunday (December 18th 2016) according to a bulletin announcement on the Pembroke College Oxford website. Despite her diagnosis of cancer in the last year or so, she carried on teaching and only stopped around two weeks ahead of her death.
She is the former partner of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, with whom she was in a relationship with for 23 years before their amicable separation in August last year. They met while both attending the University of Exeter, though she went on London to complete a PhD with her knowledge of Dante's 'Divine Comedy', which she studied with her students year after year.
'It is with great sadness that the College marks the death of Dr Rachel Owen, who was a Retained Lecturer in Italian here at Pembroke', the college wrote on their website. 'Dr Owen was an internationally renowned artist - mixing photography and printmaking - and at the same time a scholar in medieval Italian literature. As Retained Lecturer, she used to teach Dante's Divine Comedy to Pembroke's finalists in Italian.'
The college will be remembering their beloved lecturer with an exhibition at their JCR Art Gallery featuring a number of prints which she created based on the first book of the 'Divine Comedy'. Thom Yorke has already paid tribute to his relationship with Rachel on Radiohead's latest album 'A Moon Shaped Pool'.
Rachel is survived by her two children who she shared with Thom: 15-year-old son Noah and her 12-year-old daughter Agnes.