Mary Ross, a great-great-granddaughter of Dundee poet William McGonagall, has died aged 78.
She was proud of the link and took part in ceremonies to commemorate the poet whose work lives on infamy.
A long-serving primary school teacher, Mary will also be remembered for helping behind the bar of the Osnaburg in Forfar which was owned by her husband, Nelson.
Mary was born in Maryfield Hospital in 1945 to Andrew and Mary McGonagall and grew up with sisters, Ann and Helen.
As a child, the family moved from Westfield Avenue to a new house in Fintry, where her father was able to keep racing pigeons.
McGonagall, who died in 1902, was widely regarded as the “worst poet of his time”.
In 2002, Mary attended the unveiling of McGonagall’s walk at Dundee’s Riverside, which features extracts from his poem, ‘The Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay’.
She was educated at St Joseph’s Primary School, St Michael’s Secondary and then Lawside Academy.
After leaving school she worked in the Royal Bank of Scotland and as a secretary but also had an ambition to become a teacher.
She began teacher training in Edinburgh and completed it in Dundee because of health problems.
Mary graduated as a primary teacher on June 25 1971 and married Nelson the following day.
The couple had met at the Palais in South Tay Street and were married for 52 years. Nelson began his career as a marine engineer in the Caledon in Dundee, went to sea and later went offshore, working around the world.
Mary held teaching posts at St Vincent’s in Mid Craigie, Dundee, and Kirkriggs in Forfar while Nelson ran the Osnaburg.
She had to give up teaching because of ill health but helped out in the guest house Nelson bought in Dundee after selling the pub.
Nelson said: “Mary had a wish to live in Spain and we spent 10 years there where she enjoyed swimming.
“Again, ill health forced her return to Dundee and we bought a house where she enjoyed watching the wildlife in the garden including squirrels and in particular two crows which came to be fed every day. They tapped on the window if we weren’t attentive enough.
“I had been to many places abroad but Mary wanted to see the world so we went on two three-month world cruises and her favourite places was Petra in Jordan.”
Mary died peacefully in Ninewells Hospital on January 5, surrounded by her family.
You can read the formal announcement here.