Jeannie Wilkieson Kirkwood nee Marquis was born on the 26th May 1923 in the Hurlet, then a small village on the South West border of Glasgow. She was the sixth and youngest child of Donald and Janet Marquis. Her eldest sister Meg (Margaret) was twenty years old when Jeannie was born, and never tired of playing with her younger sibling, something Jean wasn’t overly keen on.

As a teenager she lost her two front teeth to a toffee apple at Neilston Cattle Show, and not long after that she met her future husband Archibald Kirkwood. Like many others, her life was disrupted due to the war. She worked in a munitions factory, but her life with Archie wasn’t affected as much as it could have been; as an engineering draftsman, his profession was protected, and he was therefore unable to sign up. She and Archie were married in the late 40s, and not long after Jean fell pregnant for the first time. The child, stillborn, was named Richard. The couple’s first valid child was Dickson, born in 1952, and Janet arrived in 1955. Like almost all the female members of the family, Janet became known by a name other than the one she was christened by; Janice in this case.

The family settled in Archie’s hometown of Barrhead, initially in Levern Crescent and then in Arthur Avenue. Archie continued to work as an engineer, and Jean would irregulalry work in the local corner shop. Unfortunately, in 1976, Archie died of a stroke. Jean was distraught at her husband’s untimely death, but this was ameliorated a little when her first grandchild was born to Dickson and his wife Margo in 1978. Darrin was followed in quick succession by Janet’s two children Jay (1980) and Kara (1982). By the time Dickson’s second son Jacob was born in 1990, her last grandchild, Jean was retired and living in a small flat round the corner from the house she shared with her family. 

She had enjoyed playing bowls for many years, and did so up until the late 90s, when she started to suffer from mental ill-health. The development of agorophobia was followed a few years later by a mini-stroke, but physically she remained fairly robust. She became a great-grandmother in 2002 with the birth of Ailie, and acquired a second great-grandchild with the arrival of Rachael three years later. However, her mental well-being began to decline rapidly in recent years, and she had spent time in hospital and respite care. Unfortunately, the death of Dickson in February of this year did nothing to help her situation. Just after she had gone into full time nursing care, she died of a viral infection.

She is survived by her daughter Janet, her four grandchildren, and her two great-grandchildren.


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