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Elizabeth Sturrock

1938 - 2023

Mrs Elizabeth Sturrock was born in June 1938 to Jim and Mina Mollison of Kenmore Terrace, Dundee.

Liz, who died aged 84, had a lifelong love of music and knew from a very early age that she wanted to be a music teacher.

She had a brother, Hamish, who was 11 years older, and she attended Rockwell primary school. Cancer took Liz’s father when she was only nine and Liz had to grow up quickly, whilst her mother worked Liz took care of the housework and shopping.

Her schooling continued at Harris Academy and like her mother before her she won the Leng Medal for singing. The Nora Leggat prize for piano followed and she played Casilda in the school production of The Gondoliers, was Dux of music and in her final year was captain of Kinloch House.

Always known as Liz, she had started piano lessons at a very early age. In the post-war years she was recognised as an exceptional classical pianist and was invited to play Grieg’s Little Bird on BBC’s Children’s Hour, broadcast from Coldside Library, Dundee.

Communicating her love of music to successive generations of schoolchildren was Liz’s passion and she embarked on her teaching journey as a peripatetic teacher around the primary and secondary schools in Angus. From 1978-89 she worked at Dundee High School, becoming assistant principal of music.

By this time, family life with two young sons, Jeremy and Nigel, was based in Forfar where Liz became a member of Forfar Operatic Society, taking leads in productions of Desert Song, Oklahoma and New Moon.

When David became Headteacher at Tealing Primary School the family moved to the rural setting of Tealing’s school house. Many long walks were enjoyed as a family with the black Labradors, Jet, then Gyp, around the country roads and into the Sidlaw hills.

Outside school she was a patrol leader in the Girl Guides and a keen member of Dundee Literary Society.

Just before her retirement in 1989 she played a key role in staging a production of The Boyfriend, with Sandy Smith as producer and in collaboration with her colleagues Ron Cochrane and Helen Boyle. The show was a great success and she felt it was a fitting culmination to her teaching career.

Liz had joined Wallacetown Church in Dundee around 1970 and was a very active member of the Guild, taking on roles locally and joining the national executive committee. When Wallacetown became Trinity Church in 1990, Liz became an elder and headed up the education and communications committee as well as the church library.

Illness would become a constant factor in her life, diagnoses of Type 1 diabetes and an overactive thyroid in 1979 were followed by recurrent heart problems. In 1986 she had to undergo a triple heart-bypass but recovered quickly and vowed not to be defined by her ill health.

Liz threw herself into wider work for the church, sitting on the presbyterial council, playing the organ for Sunday services, running the church choir and forming the Liz Sturrock Singers.

During this time, Liz started to write music for the choir, encouraged by her good friend Pat Scott, who wrote the song lyrics. In 1991 they were proud winners of the National Carol competition for, The Best Gift of All.

Liz passed away peacefully at Roxburghe House on Monday 6th March 2023. Her sons Jeremy and Nigel said: “Mum was always there for us when we needed her, and we owe our own lifelong love of music to her. She was a loving and inspirational gran to her four granddaughters and a great friend to many”. Adapted with kind permission from DC Thomson – The Courier

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