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Obituary: Kenneth Johnstone

Dr Kenneth Johnstone

Members will be very sad to learn of the death, on 29 November 2004, of Dr Kenneth Johnstone, former Reader in Public Health Bacteriology.

Dr Johnstone spent his entire student and working life in the University, an association which spanned a total of forty-three years. He entered Leeds in 1927 as the first Science Bacteriology student, taking his BSc in 1931, and then transferring to Medicine, qualifying MBChB in 1934. He initially joined the Department of Bacteriology as a part-time Demonstrator, this position becoming full-time in 1936. In 1938, following the award of his PhD, he was appointed Lecturer in Bacteriology, and, in 1946, was promoted to Reader in Public Health Bacteriology. He was also in charge of the public health bacteriology service until it was transferred to Seacroft in 1956.

Dr Johnstone contributed an enormous amount to the success of the departments teaching and research programmes, the Science Bacteriology courses for which he was responsible being particularly successful and popular. This was a tribute both to his dedication and devotion to his subject and to his personal qualities, amongst which kindness and patience were foremost. Initially, Dr Johnstone carried out research on oxidation-reduction potentials. He went on to become an expert on micromanipulative work on bacteria, and was responsible for the design and construction of a series of extremely efficient micromanipulators. His skill, knowledge and meticulous technique were widely respected, and his assistance with single-cell culture work was often sought by other institutions.

Greatly valued and highly regarded within his department and beyond, Dr Johnstone took early retirement from his post in September 1970.

The funeral service, which will be in the nature of a Friends Meeting, will be held at All Saints Church, Haslingfield, Cambridgeshire, on Friday, 10 December, and will be followed by a green burial at the Woodland Burial Ground. (Anyone wishing to attend the funeral is invited to contact Helen Pickersgill in the Secretariat for further information.) All are warmly invited to afternoon tea in the Cambridge Meridien Golf Club, either after the service or following the burial. In Dr Johnstones memory, the University flag on the Parkinson Building will be flown at half-mast on the day of the funeral.

Dr Johnstone is survived by his wife, Sheila, and their daughter and two sons. Both the daughter, Mary, and the younger son, Keith, were undergraduates at Leeds; Keith was also a lecturer in the Department of Microbiology for several years in the early 1980s.

Published: 3 December 2004