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Obituary: Mrs Ann Taylor Davies

Ann Taylor-Davies went from a Suffolk grammar school to Bedford College, London in 1956 and graduated in Psychology in 1959. After three further years of post-graduate research she was appointed to the newly-established Psychology Department at the University of Leicester in 1962 when the first intake of students were beginning their second year. Ann remained at Leicester, apart from a visiting period of six months to Duke University, North Carolina, until taking early retirement in 1990.

As a lecturer she specialised in perception, memory and cognition, but developed an interest in psycho-linguistics and was one of those teaching a linguistics option in the Combined Studies BA course.

She published over twenty papers in learned journals and was chief editor, as well as a contributor, to Introducing Psychology (Penguin Books 1970 and a new edition 1982). This book was a most successful publication in which six authors, who were members of Leicester's Department of Psychology, collaborated. Annís skills in co-ordinating and organising the writing was a considerable feat in itself.

This was no surprise to those who knew her quite outstanding abilities as an administrator. For much of her time she organised the teaching timetable for all courses in Psychology and was admissions tutor for Combined Studies applicants.  This was also in addition to being Senior Tutor to Combined Studies students in the University Ė an assistant to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. She also served, over time, on a dozen university committees such as Senate and the Vice-Chancellor's Committee on Teaching Methods. She was briefly Head of the Psychology Department in 1982.

All these duties were carried out quietly in an easy but totally efficient way. It would be impossible to imagine a better colleague whose sparkle, good humour and constant understanding made her a delight to work with. This humanity also enabled her to be such a good tutor to many generations of students who knew she was someone they could trust and in whom they could confide. 

In the latter stage of her career she served as a Psychologist on the Civil Service Selection Board for the recruitment of fast-stream civil servants in the Diplomatic Service, the Home departments and the Tax Inspectorate. She was good at this practical work and greatly enjoyed her participation in Whitehallís corridors.

Ann lived a full and rich life. Her enthusiasm for the theatre and her talents as a singer led to many active involvements with Leicester University Theatre, operatic performances, the University Choral Society and the University Singers. She was also an active member of Leicester's Little Theatre and a member of several of the city's choral societies. Above all, Ann had a happy marriage and family life with Roy, Jonathan and Kate - to whom all her many friends and acquaintances will send their condolences.

To everyone who knew her, her death brings great sadness and a lasting sense of loss. What is certain is that Annís life was lived wisely, richly and purposefully to as great an extent as is possible.

Robert Thomson

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Last updated: 15 December 2003 10:00
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