The following links and text cover Derek's family life including his partnership with his wife Natalie.

About Derek

About Natalie

Derek’s speech at Natalie’s stone setting (4 August 2013) 
I want to say how privileged I feel to have been Natalie’s husband and life partner. And it was a true partnership, formed in love, in which we kept each other going through our lives together. We were a real team throughout our vicissitudes and achievements.

In our family life, early on Natalie had to care for me and our three small children, when I was regularly incapacitated with severe asthma. We clung to each other for support and comfort when we went through the grief and guilt of losing our youngest child, Rosalind, at age seventeen. In later years when Natalie became disabled in sight and mobility, it was my turn to be the primary carer.

In our working lives, I have always been inordinately proud that Natalie, as well as being a wife and mother, was a fellow professional in higher education, something that was not that common in our generation. We often talked about how pleased we were that our next generation, Helena and Naomi, have taken the professional path, and we hoped for it for Danit and Kezia too. We rejoiced in all their achievements, and those of Jonny and Keith, and our grandsons, Ben, Gilad and Joshua.

We regularly discussed aspects of our work together, helping one another. Her work as a senior lecturer, a course tutor, a mentor to students and to junior staff, was a career achievement of some note.

In my career, the most important single decision that I made in my life was to listen to Natalie when she urged me to apply for a lectureship at the Birmingham College of Technology and then to accept the post when it was offered, which I did and rightly, in spite of the head-shakings of my colleagues in Edinburgh about leaving the university sector. She was always so sensible in her understanding of the situation. She applied this supportive approach to her children and grandchildren in whom she delighted and for whom she was interested, caring and wise.

I miss her. I now wear her wedding ring as an outward sign that she is still part of me, and I see the fact that I have come here today in a wheelchair as symbolic of my restricted life without her. It is Natalie’s wheelchair, of course.

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