Stuart Marston

23.10.1948 – 09.09.2019

Obituary by Chris Day

On Monday evening, 9th September 2019, we lost a dear and steadfast friend.

On Thursday, 5th September, Stuart Marston suffered a massive and catastrophic stroke and was hospitalised in York until gently passing away on Monday. He never regained consciousness.

Stuart was the Honorary Secretary of our association from 2007, taking over the job during the presidency of Jack Hoare. I don’t think anyone can argue with me saying he did an exemplary job over the ensuing years, with humour, with cheerfulness, with strength and example. He has helped us through some very difficult times and has been a staunch friend to everyone in the group and a real personal friend and support to many, including myself.

His colleagues in the Association have sent so many messages of support, then condolence as testimony to their feelings for him.

To say that Stuart will be sorely missed is both hopelessly short of the mark and a massive understatement of his contributions and achievements. For the BAHVS alone, he will be long-remembered and his passing much-mourned. As a veterinary surgeon I think he would agree if I described him as having traditional standards of service, of professionalism and patient care.

The face of veterinary practice is undergoing seismic changes, not all of which would have been embraced by Stuart. He qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, London, in 1972 (he would have qualified earlier, had he not had an unconventional start into the veterinary profession by spectacularly failing his finals, walking out of his viva because he disagreed with the professor!) and went on to found two veterinary practices, one in Bedworth in 1974 and the other in Hinckley in 1989.

He had a strong interest in homeopathy and, after studying with the HPTG in Oxfordshire, went on to gain the Faculty of Homeopathy qualification VetMFHom, in 2004. Never one to rest on his laurels, he did service as secretary, treasurer and then chairman of Midland Region BSAVA.

Family man

Stuart was a family man too. His love and respect for his wife, his ‘children’ and his grandchildren was just obvious in conversation. He had a great sense of right and wrong and a passion for putting things right. 

Most of all, I suspect, it will be his impish humour and storytelling that will spring first to people’s minds when talking about him. Here was a man who would always make you feel respected and important. He was dutiful right up to his tragic illness and he will be a guiding light for so many of us for many years to come.

I am honoured to have known him and proud to have had him as homeopathic veterinary colleague, fellow BAHVS officer and deeply respected personal friend. Homeopathy, veterinary homeopathy, the veterinary profession, his family and his friends have all been richer for rubbing shoulders with him and so much poorer for his passing.

Stu, you were one of the very best. 

Fly free and safely in your journey.

The photograph was kindly provided for me by his family. It portrays beautifully his twinkling eye and impish smile, with short sleeves and a finger in the pie (cookery class). That’s our Stuart!

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