Search site



Obituary: Stephen H Peacock - full obituary

As, sadly, many colleagues will already be aware, Mr Stephen Peacock, who was a senior member of the Universitys administrative staff from 1973 to 1992, died on 14 November 2008.

Stephen was a pupil at High Storrs Grammar School in Sheffield from 1943 to 1950, and went on to graduate BA from Leeds in 1954, in Economics, Geography and English Literature. During his period of National Service he was involved in officer selection. In 1956, he joined the English (later British) Steel Corporation in his home town of Sheffield, where, as Office Services Manager, he dealt with staffing matters and the provision of office services. He also completed a Diploma in Management Studies through part-time study. He moved to a post in personnel in the University of Sheffield in 1970 before coming to Leeds in 1973 as Assistant Bursar.

At Leeds, Stephen continued to specialise in personnel matters and had a wide-ranging involvement in the work of the then Establishments and Personnel Office, operating as its deputy head. He was a popular and valued colleague, calm, approachable, knowledgeable, and sound in his advice and judgement. He made particularly effective contributions to the working relationship with the trade unions, in particular those representing ancillary staff, the handling of grievance cases and the operation of the payroll. For ten years, he was responsible for the superannuation arrangement for all categories of staff, and served as Secretary of the Pension and Assurance Scheme during this time. One of Stephens particular strengths was his ability to identify where improvements could be made. He was quick to see the need for change, enthusiastic in advocating the necessary developments, adept at translating these into new systems and procedures, and good at carrying his team with him. He oversaw a number of important initiatives, not least in harnessing the benefits of information technology. Promoted to Senior Assistant Registrar early in 1992, Stephen retired later that year but maintained a connection with the University for some time thereafter as part-time Adviser to students living in the Bodington Flats.

Away from the University, Stephen had a wide range of interests. He was a very keen walker, undertaking voluntary work in the Dales National Park, took a lively interest in environmental and community affairs and was an accomplished amateur artist. Other interests were music and ornithology. Friends and family were very important to Stephen. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, who for many years worked in the Edward Boyle Library, two sons, Ian and Richard, and a daughter, Alison, a current employee of the Leeds Dental Institute; and by seven grandchildren.

The funeral service will take place at 2.00pm on Tuesday, 25 November 2008, at Adel Methodist Church, Holt Lane, Adel, Leeds, LS16 7NX, when, in memory of Stephen, the flag will be flown at half-mast on the Parkinson Building. The service will be followed by private cremation.

Published: 21 November 2008