Obituary – Dr Stella Gibson

12th October 2020

Stella Elizabeth Grace Gibson was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire in 1927 to William Hamilton Gibson, a General Practitioner, and Grace ( nee Baird ), a teacher. Stella, her twin sister Iris and their elder brother John all became medical doctors. Stella in particular was profoundly affected by the death of her father whilst on duty in 1941, when a parachute landmine fell
on the Woodside First Aid Post. The mine killed ninety-two people, including William Gibson the senior casualty surgeon. Stella was very proud of her father, and spoke on behalf of the victims at memorial services held in Paisley on the anniversaries of the disaster.

Stella first went to study English Literature at the University of Glasgow, graduating with an MA in 1949. Although she wanted to become a doctor, she and her sister had to wait to get onto the medical course due to the priority given to returning servicemen and the subsequent limit on female applicants. In 1947 the university admitted one woman to every
four men on its medicine course. Glasgow and the Scottish universities in general were more progressive than the London medical schools which had only all become co-educational in 1947 .

Stella was not deterred, and graduated with her MBChB in Medicine and Surgery in 1954, followed by a Diploma in Public Heath from the University of Glasgow in 1959. She got a post as Deputy Medical Officer first for Clydebank, and then for Paisley in 1968. She worked as a consultant in Public Health Medicine at Argyll and Clyde Health Board until her
retirement in 1988. Stella never married and lived with her twin sister Iris, a Consultant in Geriatric Medicine at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, until Iris’ death in 1993. She lived in Paisley all her
life but loved travelling all over the world. She was adventurous and curious about history and culture. She was interested in art, especially local painters . She enjoyed visiting the Highlands and Islands, reflecting her love of nature, wildlife and the sea. Her other passion was for animal welfare; she and her sister Iris were involved in cat rescue throughout their
lives. She was an active and charitable person, and was a former president of the Soroptimists International in Paisley.

She died on 22nd April 2020 aged 92.

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