Consultant in geriatric medicine;

Born: November 2, 1925; Died: June 8, 2013.

Cyril Cohen, who has died aged 87, had a personality so infused with humour that the polite request for no dark clothes or long faces at his funeral seemed entirely fitting.

He was a man with an endless capacity to produce a comic quip, no matter what the situation, and wisecracked his way through each day with an easy geniality that gave him a warm, open attitude to everyone, be it patients, colleagues or other professionals he worked with across a huge range of organisations and voluntary groups.

Though he may have been defined by his sense of fun, he was also something of a workaholic, giving decades of support to his local community council and charities for the elderly while working as a consultant physician in geriatric medicine and as a lecturer.

Born in Manchester and educated at the city's Central High School, he was interested in medicine from a young age but certainly did not set out to become a geriatrician. After gaining his medical degree from Manchester's Victoria University, he did his two years' national service in the Army Medical Corps. Then, having served his time as a houseman in Manchester, he found it more difficult than anticipated to secure another post.

He more or less fell into the emerging field of geriatric medicine in the 1950s when he took a job, solely because it was a job, at Stracathro Hospital near Brechin. It turned out that the position was in geriatrics, about which he knew virtually nothing. And though he had planned to stay in the post for just six months, he discovered that he found the elderly interesting and quickly developed an enthusiasm for the speciality which became his life's work.

Mentored by Dr Oswald Taylor Brown, Scotland's first consultant physician in geriatric medicine, he rapidly progressed and was still in his 30s when he was appointed a consultant, later becoming a fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Outside his own hospital duties he was an honorary senior lecturer in geriatric medicine at Dundee University and was seconded for three years as director of the Scottish Hospital Advisory Service, an organisation, he noted, that was originally coined the Scottish Hospital Inspection Team, until it was realised it would result in an unfortunate acronym.

The author of, and contributor to, numerous papers on geriatric medicine and care of the elderly, he remained at Stracathro until he retired at 65 but also held a string of posts in associated organisations, among many others.

He was past president of Forfarshire Medical Association and former chairman of the Health Education Board for Scotland's advisory group on health education for elderly people, Angus District and Tayside Area medical committees, the Scottish branch of the British Geriatric Society ,Angus Access Panel and Angus Care of the Elderly Group.

He was also honorary vice-president of the Dundee and District Branch, of the British Diabetic Association, a life member of Manchester Medical Society and sat on the Chief Scientist's Committee for Research on Equipment for the Disabled and Health Services Research Committee.

In addition, Mr Cohen, who was awarded the OBE in 1986, was a director of Angus Community Care Charitable Trust, Brechin Day Care and Angus Care and Repair as well as former vice-chair of Angus Association of Voluntary Organisations, a member of Age Concern Angus' executive, a JP and honorary president of the hospital radio station, Radio North Angus with which he had been involved since its inception. He was also involved in local school councils and Forfar Academy School Board and served as secretary of his local Aberlemno Community Council for 27 years where one of the issues he was most concerned about was the protection of the carved Pictish Aberlemno Stones.

Meanwhile, even once he retired he maintained a keen interest in geriatric care. He railed against changes in the health service and was saddened by reports of poor standards of care for the elderly in hospitals and homes. But he was an inveterate letter writer and often raised issues with deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon, formerly cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing. He most recently took the Scottish government to task about self-directed support, a method of giving people more choice about how their care is provided, with which he vehemently disagreed.

He had been married since 1967 to Betty, a dietician whom he met at Stracathro, and liked to joke that he had gone into the kitchen for a diet and come out with a wife. She survives him, along with their son David and extended family. Their other son Michael predeceased his father.