Last respects to former Melford GP

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THE funeral of a retired doctor who was “devoted and dedicated” to his medical practice in Long Melford was be held at the village’s Holy Trinity Church.

Dr John Stewart, who was 87, had been a resident at Melford Court care home following a stroke two months ago. He died on August 9.

Friend Dr Mark Chambers said the bachelor was a kind and sensitive man who was well-known and respected in the village, where he had been a doctor for 30 years. He had also served as a parish councillor.

“After his stroke in June, we’d tried nursing him back to health but, sadly, it was not to be. I knew him as a very kind and sensitive old chap who was dedicated to his practice; he was married to his practice really.”

Dr Chambers said he and his family had grown close to the GP in his retirement, with Dr Stewart becoming like a “third parent to me”.

The medical practice in Cordell Road, Long Melford, has grown over the years to expand into Lavenham with five doctors serving the partnership in the two villages.

“I joined the practice in Long Melford just as Dr Stewart was retiring in 1983 – in fact, I took his position,” said Dr Chambers. “He retired at 62, as was normal practice for GPs at that time.”

Dr Stewart was born in South Kensington in 1924. An only child, his father died when he was 17.

He went to medical school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London and, after qualifying, went to work as an assistant doctor in Bedford.

“He lived with his mother for many years and he loved classical music,” said Dr Chambers. “You could describe him as an English Edwardian gentleman.”

Dr Stewart played the organ at Foxearth Church. He also sang in the choir at Long Melford church where his funeral took place on Friday.