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News > Passing of friends > Rab Shiell (1957F) passes away

Rab Shiell (1957F) passes away

Good stuff like Rab Shiell (1957F) endures.
Top wife Barbara (Basia), middle Davina and bottom Kelley and Alex
Top wife Barbara (Basia), middle Davina and bottom Kelley and Alex

John Bewsey (1957F, PM1958) let us know that he had received the sad news of the passing of Rab Shiell (1957F).  Rab passed away in Edinburgh, Scotland on 11 May 2024.  Rab and he had kept some contact after school.  He last saw him in South Africa in 2013. He was a close friend at school. Rab was a Professor of English. 

Before settling in the UK, Rab had been at Teacher Training College at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland.  His Polish wife, Basia Koscielska was better known to most of his friends as Barbara.  They had two children and the family lives in Scotland.

Brian Clewly Johnson (a school friend from Wetpups) shared a letter written to his old Wetpups friends after a visit to Scotland in 2021.  This tells us a bit more about the family:

About a fortnight ago I spent some happy days in Edinburgh in the company of ‘Badger’, his wife Barbara, and their adult children: daughter Davina and son, Alex. I also met Alex’s American wife, Kelly.

We ate and drank well, argued and reminisced (Rab as Badger, me as Toad in ‘Toad of Toad Hall‘) in equal measure; I hope these five wonderful Shiells enjoyed our various encounters as much as I.

Rab is in good spirits. You may remember him as a bookish, erudite man - thankfully without any of the insularity that sometimes goes with some such characters. Rab is as warm, welcoming, and witty as he always has been. No change there.

He and Barbara have raised, two intellectually impressive, sociable individuals. I sensed a strong, loving bond between them all.

People are astonished when I tell them we all have know each other from our ‘Wet Pups’ days. That’s about 70 years (do the maths - not, as you may remember, my forte.)

Nomadic lives have kept many of us apart. But good stuff, thank god, endures.

What a lovely testament to the kind of man Rab was. Our sincerest condolences to his widow, children and the extended family.


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