A ROLE model from Chesham Bois who never stopped caring for her family and doing charitable work has died aged 89.
Daphne Lowell Kilgour was a nurse, soldier, and a society hostess. She was born as Daphne Tully on January 16, 1923 in Otterburn, Northumberland, and lived with her five older siblings on a farm owned by her father, Walter Tully.
She lived the last 29 years in her home in Amersham Road.
After leaving school, she trained in Newcastle to be a nurse and completed her midwifery in London at Guy’s Hospital. She joined the Army and met her husband John Kilgour while she was working in Westminster Hospital in 1950.
Her son, Dr Simon Kilgour, said: “The first night they went out, she broke her shoe so my father had to help her. This cemented their relationship.”
The two married at the Brompton Oratory on October 24, 1955.
They had two sons, Alastair, born in 1956 and Simon, born in 1958. They both attended Westminster School and Simon qualified as a doctor, whereas Alastair chose a career in banking. Simon had been his mother’s prime carer for the past five years.
When her husband became a director in the World Health Organisation, she organised diplomatic parties and dinners. She organised many parties in Geneva, Switzerland and the Far East.
Her husband was well known for his role in eradicating smallpox but he died due to a heart attack in September 2008.
Dr Kilgour added: “Compassionate and kind to those she knew well, throughout her life she exhibited a probity and humility rarely seen in those international circles while supporting her husband and sons in their endeavours.
“There is still a shortage of female role models and she was a great one. She brought up a happy family and used the discipline that she learned from the Army.”
Mrs Kilgour died on December 17 of a stroke after a year of being bedbound.