Cherished Dundee charity fundraiser, performer and former Citizen of the Year Tessa Rhynd has died, aged 80, in Ninewells Hospital.
Family and friends have paid tribute to the colourful singer who provided cheer to scores of elderly people in Tayside with her retirement home performances.
Her daughter Shirley Rhynd said: “She was loved by so many people and it was always a joke that if you were walking through the town with mum it would take about five hours, as everyone knew her and stopped to say hi. There was no such thing as a quick visit into the town.
“She was so selfless, humble, kind and very caring. She was very loyal and extremely protective of her family and her friends.
“She also had an amazing sense of humour. It is this side of mum I think should be best remembered – she made me smile every single day.”
Shirley said her mum had raised funds for the first clinitron bed for the Dundee hospital “it would perhaps seem fitting that it was there that mum passed away,” she added.
Anna Easton, who helped Tessa perform up until a few years ago, when her health began to fail, said “many people in Dundee would have fond memories” of her friend.
Tessa, from Linlathen, devoted her life to entertaining elderly people at sheltered housing complexes, nursing homes, church clubs and social groups throughout Dundee and Angus.
She once estimated she had entertained at least 10,000 OAPs in the last quarter of the 20th century alone.
Her merchant seaman husband Duncan, drowned in 1983 leaving the then-42-year-old with five children aged between 10 and 17.
She took a job at Ninewells but it was to be her volunteering in the hospital for which she would become best known.
She started by visiting elderly patients who did not have any visitors of their own before developing a show in which she would sing hits from yesteryear and tell jokes.
She helped raise money for a wide variety of causes, including organising sold out concerts in Dundee’s Bonar Hall.
The shows included “turns” from the local stars of the day, including George Duffus, Jimmy Shand and Joe McKay.
In 2000 she was made Dundee’s Citizen of the Year in recognition of her charity work.
She said at the time: “Being awarded the Citizen of the Year title was a great honour. My volunteering work had become a way of life – just something I did because I thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Now, with regular civic engagements with the Lord Provost, I’m busier than ever. Funny thing is I became a pensioner myself just recently but there is no sign of me retiring.”
Tessa had many strings to her fundraising bow. She put on dog shows and sponsored walks and was pivotal in raising £10,000 in 2001 so five-year disabled girl Kirsty Lee Murdoch could travel to the Dolphin Human Therapy Centre in Florida to swim with the mammals.
She is survived by her five children Lynn, Maureen, Andrew, William and Shirley, three grandchildren, her sister Maureen and her son-in-law and daughter-in-law.