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Obituary: Mrs Doreen Butler  [funeral arrangements]

Doreen Butler joined the University as a shorthand typist in the Faculty of the Social Sciences in November 1959. She was promoted to the post of Chief Clerk in the Department of Sociology and worked as the departmental secretary until she retired in January 1979.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, when she was Principal Clerk and then Chief Clerk in the Department of Sociology, it was during this period that the Department, under the leadership of Ilya Neustadt and Norbert Elias, was establishing its reputation as one of the leading departments both nationally and internationally. Doreen Butler's period of tenure coincided with this halcyon period in the Department's development, in which she herself played an important facilitating role.

In those days, job descriptions were perhaps not as precise as they are today, and the range of tasks carried out by Doreen meant that she was in effect not a clerk but a departmental administrator. She had a close working relationship with Professor Neustadt and this relationship was a key axis around which so many aspects of the Department revolved, for while Ilya Neustadt provided the academic and political leadership for the Department, he relied implicitly on Doreen to oversee virtually all aspects of departmental administration. And this she did not only with great efficiency but also with unfailing courtesy and kindness.

After her retirement in 1979, Doreen and her husband Bob were able to spend more time holidaying abroad, both of which they greatly enjoyed. She continued to take a keen interest in the University and, in particular, kept in touch with many of the now senior staff with whom she formerly worked. Doreen Butler died on April 7, 2002. She was loved by all those who knew her and will be sadly missed.

Ivan Waddington
April 2002

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Last updated: 15 March 2002 17:00
Created by: Rachel Tunstall
Maintained by: Barbara Whiteman

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