Obituary: Lachie Kennedy, Scottish journalist

Lachie Kennedy in the golden days of newspapers
Lachie Kennedy in the golden days of newspapers
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Lachlan Kennedy, journalist. Born: Dundee on 3 May 1940. Died: Milton of Campsie on 23July 2017, aged 77

Lachie Kennedy, who has died while in residential care at Milton of Campsie, was among those Scottish journalists who wrote the first draft of the country’s history in the second half of the last century.

He was one of the newspaper reporters who, on 21 December 1988, was sent to Lockerbie when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded at 31,000 feet.

The Piper Alpha disaster was another of the major events Kennedy covered.

Kennedy, who started out in journalism at DC Thomson in Dundee, where both his 
parents worked in the jute mills, worked on the Slough Observer after meeting and marrying his wife, Linda, and then on the old Scottish Daily Express.

Lachie Kennedy was born to Margaret and Lachlan Kennedy, the third of four boys. He was brought up in Dundee alongside his older brothers, Charles and Iain, and his younger brother Neil.

He was educated at Harris Academy, Dundee, where he played rugby, but he injured his hip and had to give up sport.

Linda’s parents moved to England and she went with them, but Lachie followed his sweetheart and the couple were married at the Slough Trinity Presbyterian Church, and Kennedy secured a post on the Slough Observer.

Their first son, Gary, was born in 1965, and the Kennedys moved back to Scotland and Glasgow, where in the mid-Sixties Lachie was offered a job on the Express. They set up home in Kirkintilloch, moved to Milton of Campsie in 1972 and made many friends in the close-knit community.

Their second son, Scott, was born in 1977.

Kennedy was renowned as a hard worker and an excellent reporter at the Daily Record and its sister paper, the Sunday Mail, where he worked shifts at weekends.

He was made redundant from the Record in 1994 and freelanced for a time with the Herald and other publications before settling into a contented retirement, cooking and keeping the household going.

Lachie retained a strong connection with his family and Linda’s family in Dundee, visiting the city often.

He supported Dundee, while his son, Gary, was a Dundee United fan.

Gardening was one of Lachie’s favourite pastimes. He was happy to grow flowers and particularly liked roses.

He and Linda shared 53 years of married life together and when it was their golden wedding anniversary, the family treated them to a weekend at Gleneagles Hotel.

Lachie is survived by his wife, Linda, sons Gary, an accountant, and Scott, an electrical engineer, and his grandchildren – including Hannah, who is at university studying politics and English with an ambition to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a journalist.

It was only in the last few years that Lachie’s health really changed with the onset of sepsis and dementia, and after spells in hospital he was taken into care.

BILL HEANEY