Obituary: Felicity MacGregor, 73

Felicity MacGregor, former depute head at Corstorphine Primary School, has died, aged 73.

Felicity Anne MacGregor was born on April 18, 1941, in Glengoulandie, Perthshire.

Tragically, ten days earlier her older brother had died of a wasting disease, aged one-and-a-half; a year later her older sister died aged five; and the following year her younger sister was a “cot death”. In all, her parents Dr Harold and Mrs Elizabeth Grace Emslie had 11 children, eight of whom survived into adulthood.

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When she was six, the family settled in Glasgow and Felicity’s father established his medical practice. As one of the older daughters, she supported her parents by helping to raise her sisters and brother. She wanted to become a teacher, however, she twice failed her French Higher and so wasn’t accepted on to the teaching course. She decided instead to become a laboratory technician, and then haematologist, in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness.

In Inverness, she met and married John and was soon celebrating the birth of daughters Pamela and Helen. The family moved to Bedford, England, but when children Alison and James were due, Felicity would travel back to Scotland before each of their births, and stay with her own mother in Glasgow to ensure the babies would be born in Scotland.

The family moved back to Scotland permanently in 1972 and when her youngest child started at primary school, Felicity was finally able to fulfil her dream and she trained as a teacher at Craiglockhart College of Education.

For 28 years she taught, firstly at South Queensferry Primary School and latterly as depute headteacher at Corstorphine Primary School. She is remembered as a “firm but fair” teacher who brooked no nonsense but rewarded hard work and she continued tutoring maths and English until very recently, specialising in helping children with dyslexia and learning difficulties.

She filled her days with teaching others, and her evenings with her own learning. She was at the forefront of computer technology and in the 1980s she would bring home the school BBC computer and practise on it, writing her own computer programmes over the weekend, and educating her colleagues on its use on Monday.

She took woodwork classes, taught herself Italian, and to play the guitar and piano.

She was an elder at Davidson’s Mains Church and worked as a volunteer in the church office. She played bridge competitively in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland. She also enjoyed geocaching – an outdoor treasure hunting game – which fulfilled her love of puzzles and of the great outdoors.

When she was diagnosed with cancer more than 11 years ago, one of the first things she did was to walk part of the Great Wall of China in aid of Maggie’s Centre.