3 July 1914-18 February 2015
John was born just before World War I in Kelso, Scotland. He was from strong stock; both sets of grandparents celebrated their golden weddings when average life expectancy itself was about 50 years, and he went on to live double that time.
He was a remarkable man with the sort of brain that made instant connections between people, places and events, no matter how long ago. Whenever John made friends he always kept in touch with them.
After graduating from Edinburgh University, he joined Scottish Life and qualified as a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries in 1940 just before the examinations ceased until after World War II.
He served in the Army until 1946, mainly in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Wherever he went he would try to locate an actuary. This was successful particularly in Belgium and Holland, where he found many actuarial textbooks had been destroyed and promptly arranged for the Faculty to provide some.
On returning to Scottish Life he was promoted to general manager in 1956. He led the expanding business with great drive and vision for 20 years. He was elected president of the Faculty of Actuaries in 1973 and was also president of the Chartered Insurance Institute, chairman of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, and chairman of the Scottish Office Health Board committee tasked with preparing the 'Priorities for the Eighties' report. He was awarded an OBE in 1980.
His love of climbing drove him to complete all the Munros, Corbetts and Donalds, finishing well into his eighties. He enjoyed a wonderful family life with his four daughters, 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. His family is immensely proud of his long life, contributing so much to their lives, the actuarial world and society in general.