Consultant cardiologist

Born: May 27, 1935.

Died: December 22, 2019.

DR John A Kennedy, who has died aged 84, was a distinguished physician, innovative cardiologist, accomplished sportsman and dedicated family man.

John Andrew Kennedy, the son of John and Christina, was born and brought up in Stirling and educated at the High School of Stirling. He proudly referred to himself as a “True Son of the Rock.” His father died from cardiovascular disease when John was just 15 and it is likely that this was a factor in his decision to study medicine and then cardiology.

He entered the University of Glasgow in 1953, graduating in 1959, and during that time was awarded the McFarlane and Burns Prizes in Medicine and the McEwan Medal in Surgery. His Junior House Officer posts were in Glasgow Royal Infirmary with Dr J.H. Wright and Professor W. A. Mackey. He had intended to return to Stirling but his talents were recognised by Dr Wright, who directed him to cardiology. His training continued at GRI with Dr Wright and then Professor T.D.V. Lawrie.

He successfully passed the Membership examinations of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal Colleges of Edinburgh and London, with subsequent election to Fellowship of all three Colleges.

Appointed Consultant Cardiologist to the Western Infirmary in1970, he quickly embraced the rapid advances in all aspects of this speciality, including a coronary care unit, pacemaker insertion and coronary angiography. He developed a most impressive department and many of his trainees went on to become leaders in cardiology in departments around the country. He was also responsible for the return of cardiac surgery to the Western Infirmary attracting two highly talented surgeons in Professor Bill Bain and Mr Murdo Turner.

Interventional cardiology was then in its infancy and John also set up and fully participated in this. He encouraged research and was involved in important work on the epidemiology of heart attacks in the young and the assessment of metallic heart valves. His knowledge and experience were recognised by the Presidency of the Royal Medico-Chirurgical Society of Glasgow, the Presidency of the Scottish Cardiac Society and the Vice-Presidency of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

A keen sportsman, he played rugby for Stirling and cricket for Stirling County and the University of Glasgow, with the award of cricket colours in 1958. He was a member of Pollok Golf Club and an enthusiastic bridge player.

John Kennedy was an outstanding clinician, held in high regard by his colleagues and patients. His personal charm, friendliness and his abilities as a conversationalist and raconteur were universally recognised. Most of all, he was a dedicated family man, happiest at his holiday home in Boat of Garten, enjoying memorable vacations with his family. His greatest treasure was his wife, Mary, who throughout their marriage supported him perfectly.

This was especially evident during his final illness during which she cared for him in a remarkable and outstanding way. John was predeceased by his sister Harriet and leaves Mary, his sons David, who is a GP in Peterhead, Douglas, a maxillo-facial surgeon in Dundee, and Neil, a Glasgow solicitor, and seven much-loved grandchildren.

Ross Lorimer and Frank Dunn