Olive Keidan obituary

Psychiatric social worker, lecturer and textbook editor

My mother, Olive Keidan, who has died aged 95, was a psychiatric social worker who became a lecturer in social administration at Liverpool and Bangor universities.

She was born in Liverpool to Alice Walters and her Scottish husband, Thomas Tulloch, an engineer. After attending Holly Lodge school in Liverpool she trained in social work at Liverpool University (1942-44), then worked for the next two decades as an evacuation welfare officer, maternity and child welfare almoner, tutor, and a psychiatric social worker for United Liverpool hospitals.

In 1967 she became a lecturer in social administration at Liverpool University, a post she held for the next 16 years. During that time she worked as an editor of Penelope Hall’s Social Services in England and Wales, a textbook widely read by anyone in social policy, social work or social administration.

After taking early retirement from the university in 1983, she accepted an invitation to teach at Bangor University the following year, and when she finally retired from Bangor in 1990 she helped found the Liverpool branch of the University of the Third Age.

Outside social policy Olive was a keen amateur zoologist, botanist, dressmaker, cook, writer and artist. She was also a devotee of the Royal Shakespeare Company, while Liverpool’s Shakespeare Society had brought her together with Saul Keidan, a consultant paediatrician at Alder Hey Children’s hospital, whom she married in 1953. He died in 1966.

Olive was eternally optimistic and enthusiastic, and had a lust for life and a joy in all things. Her intellectual curiosity, love of the natural world, boundless hospitality, compassion and sense of fun touched everyone she met.

She is survived by two daughters, Jane and me, and her grandchildren, Jo and Sam.

Lois Keidan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Daphne McKenna obituary
Other lives: Passionate social worker with an unshakable concern for the rights of children and young people

David Morris

30, Oct, 2020 @7:06 PM

Article image
Perlita Harris obituary
Other lives: Academic whose writing gave voice to the experience of adopted people

Joan Fletcher

31, Jan, 2019 @4:14 PM

Article image
Gillian Ballance obituary
Other lives: Social worker and lecturer who did much to help asylum seekers and refugees

Berry Dicker

01, Apr, 2019 @4:25 PM

Article image
Harry Barrow obituary
Other lives: Mechanical engineer and academic who made a major contribution to the science of tunnel cooling

Amy Barrow

31, Mar, 2021 @9:32 AM

Article image
Olive Bucknall obituary
Campaigner for mental health reform whose son was damaged by hospital treatment

Guy Holmes

25, Oct, 2018 @3:38 PM

Article image
Peter Baird obituary
Other lives: Teacher and social worker who had a passion for Russia and would smuggle banned books such as works by Solzhenitsyn

Rachel Baird

02, Feb, 2018 @6:02 PM

Article image
Judy Treseder obituary
Other lives: Leading social worker in the development of psychiatric social work in child and family mental health services

William Yule

10, Feb, 2021 @9:03 PM

Article image
Margaret Kaye obituary
Other lives: Social worker who was a friend and protector to children from disadvantaged backgrounds

Paul Greengrass

31, Jan, 2020 @11:37 AM

Article image
David Oldershaw obituary
Other lives: Social worker and local government stalwart whose work focused on the needs of families in Leicestershire

Tom Oldershaw

14, Nov, 2019 @5:25 PM

Article image
Nick Luxmoore obituary
Other lives: Campaigner for school counselling, psychodrama psychotherapist, and author of books on working with young people

Steph Fryer

22, Jan, 2020 @12:56 PM