Stephanie McWilliam

Loyal Friend And Committed Kipper

24th February 1950 – 15th March 2018

Stephanie died at home in Pensilva on 15th March.  Although she had undergone major heart and abdominal surgery in the past two years – the seriousness of which she had publicly made light of – her death was sudden and unexpected.  Our sympathies go to loved and loving daughters Fiona and Susi and all her family.

All who knew her regarded Steph as a loyal, dependable friend, passionate in her beliefs but moderate and reasoned in their articulation, with a wide span of interests and activities in which she played a full part.

After training in Bristol, Steph began her working life as a radiographer in Truro.  She subsequently travelled in Africa and lived and worked for several years in Cape Town at the Grote Schuur Hospital where Christiaan Barnard carried out the first heart transplant.  Typically, Steph learnt some Afrikaans so that she could communicate better with her patients.

On her return to the UK she married Don in 1977. She helped to set up the new Radiotherapy Department at Derriford Hospital.  Here she established a number of ‘firsts’, introducing the now widespread role of research radiotherapist within such departments, and the introduction of modesty gowns for female patients. She then became a consultant and spokesperson for the Department of Health, carrying out speaking engagements around the world and writing articles for specialist publications.

Her extra-curricular activities were varied.  She was a volunteer for the Injured Jockeys’ Fund.  She was the Cornwall organizer for Dignity in Dying – the group that supports Assisted Dying for terminally ill, mentally competent,  patients.

She was active in UKIP – chair respectively for the local branch, Cornwall, and South West England. She served several years as a Cornwall Councillor.  In these roles, she gained respect both for her management skills and her beliefs, based on a logical and well-articulated appraisal of the needs of our County and Country.  She was active in the Pensilva Youth Project, had been a school governor, and was on the Schools Appeal Panel for Cornwall Council when she died.

In 2004 Steph gained a 2:1 OU degree in Social Sciences and was part way through an OU Arts course when she died; she undertook this because ‘she didn’t know anything about Art’!  She played the clarinet and violin, the former with the Callington orchestra.

Steph’s many and varied activities typified the way in which she put others before herself and went out of her way to help them.  Her passing has touched the hearts of us all. Her memorial is that her legacy and example will remain with us and help us to be better people.


Steph will be cremated at the Glynn Valley Crematorium at 4.30 pm on Monday 9th April, with a celebration of her life afterwards at the Millennium House, Pensilva.


[Re-published with kind permission from Kipper Central]


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