John Heatlie, former area manager based at Dundee railway station, has died aged 93.
In a career spanning 40 years, John did not have a single day of sick leave.
His time on the railways, in Scotland, England and Wales was broken only by two years’ National Service in the navy.
John and his wife Rena remained in Dundee in retirement where he took an interest in gardening, the stock market and reading The Courier six days a week.
John Barns Heatlie was born in July 1928 in Broomdykes, Berwickshire.
He was educated at Chirnside school and enjoyed his early life in a rural setting.
At the age of 14, John went for an interview as a porter at Edrom railway station in the Borders.
The station manager considered him too slight, even though he was smartly turned out in a new suit his mother had bought him.
However, two weeks later, the station master cycled to John’s home to offer him the job because the lad who had pipped him at the interview had not made the grade.
This was the start of John’s long career on the railway and it was something of a nomadic lifestyle.
He moved whenever promotion was offered including Methil, Glasgow, Cardiff, Reading, Oxford, Portskewet and then Dundee.
John was always athletic, ran and cycled and was a keen dancer.
It was through dancing that he met his future wife, Rena. The couple married in March 1955 and had 63 years of happy marriage.
John was area manager at Dundee between 1977 and 1983 when he retired aged 55.
In retirement John remained active. He went for walks from his Dundee home and exercised daily.
Gardening was perhaps one of his great joys and he enjoyed tending vegetables with his wife, daughter and grandchildren.
Family was central to John’s life and he was touched when his grandchildren changed their surname to Heatlie to carry on the family name.
His family always said: “He was one of life’s true gentlemen who treated everyone as important and he kept his sense of humour until the end.”