Born: March 29, 1915; Died: June 25, 2012.
Maria Dunn (Lynas), who has died aged 97, was a school doctor and promoter of Christian family values.
Born into a well-known Hamilton family, she was educated at Elmwood Convent School in Bothwell and the University of Glasgow. Although she excelled in art, she chose to study medicine, as her brother Edward had before her. She was in many ways ahead of her time in as much as she created an ideal work-life balance.
From a young age she showed her determination in various fields. She was sports captain of her school, and enjoyed competing in swimming, athletics and golf. She taught herself to drive at the age of 14 and never sat a driving test. She was one of five women in her year, who graduated in 1941, yet she saw nothing unusual in this, and always believed in gender equality long before it became fashionable.
Her early postgraduate training was at the Southern General Hospital, and it was there she meet Aloysius Dunn, a senior colleague. They married in 1943 after a brief courtship. Theirs was a true partnership, producing a happy, loving environment for their family.
Determined to pursue her career after her last child went to school, she joined the School Health Service, and together with a small energetic team, she became a familiar figure in the primary schools of Glasgow. This invaluable service ensured the good health of children by way of inoculations, diet and fitness. It was also an opportunity to spot non-accidental injury, and thus contributed to the emotional and physical wellbeing of young children.
The couple were also dedicated to making a contribution to society in a voluntary capacity. They were both medical advisors to CMAC (Catholic Marriage Advisory Council) which was the direct forerunner of Scottish Marriage Care. Their services were always open to the whole community. The couple embraced the concept of Emotional Intelligence – promoted by CMAC – and were close associates of Dr Jack Dominion, who went on to become a recognised world expert in marital relationships.
They were also key contributors to the innovative Cana Conferences. These were talks for engaged couples touching on all areas of marriage. Their talks were characterised by humour, coupled with practical advice to all attendees. As a consequence of this work, they were invited, as a couple, to go into schools and give talks on the subject of sex education, rather than sex instruction. Because of their light touch and humorous style they managed to take the embarrassment out of this sensitive subject.
Despite her commitment to the voluntary sector and dedication to her professional work, she remained devoted to her family. She was sorely tried in her family life, as she lost one infant child, and three of her other children in adulthood. In this toughest of areas, she never allowed her grief to consume her. Her personality, character and faith shone through, as she continued to throw herself into her artistic, sporting and travelling pursuits.
She never let her advancing years deter her from anything she wanted to do.
When her deteriorating vision prevented her from driving at the age of 92, she happily made the one mile-daily trip to church on foot, preferring an umbrella to a walking stick as the walking stick "would make me look like an old lady".
Throughout her life she remained committed to her Christian faith and demonstrated this by her actions rather than her words.
She only left two instructions to be followed after her death: the first that champagne should be served at the post funeral celebration, and secondly that the famous words of the Prophet Micah should be included in her funeral service: "And what does the Lord require of you, but to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God". She is pre-deceased by her husband Aloysius, and children Mary, John, Margaret, and William. She is survived by her daughter Josephine and sons Frank, Gerard and Bernard.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.