Mildred A Keating (1941–2023)

On 10 August 2023, Mildred A. Keating, aged 82 years, of Gravesend, Kent. Mrs Keating registered with the Society in 1963.


Min was a proud pharmacist, having qualified through the apprentice route. She was delighted that her certificate was signed by Mary Burr, an early female president of the Society. She spent most of her life in Gravesend, Kent, and was well known to many pharmacists in the local area as a staunch supporter of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain’s local branch.

Although starting as a community pharmacist, much of her career was spent working through the ranks of the old Dartford Hospital, and as chief pharmacist, she was responsible for the design and running of the pharmacy in the country’s first hospital private finance initiative, Darent Valley Hospital, which opened in 2000. While there, and before retiring from the NHS in 2001, she had been a prominent advocate for a school of pharmacy in Kent, and went on to join the new Medway School of Pharmacy as a senior lecturer, prior to the first cohort of students arriving in 2004. She worked tirelessly to support students in their journey to becoming pharmacists.

Her work to recruit future pharmacy students was notable; travelling to numerous schools and recruitment fairs, as well as attending most, if not all, university open days to promote pharmacy (and Medway School of Pharmacy). She was particularly proud of the award she won for her role as a science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) ambassador, which was displayed proudly on her desk. Three months after her retirement, in January 2017, she was back as a volunteer, supporting an initiative to disseminate pharmacy research to groups, such as u3a and the Women’s Institute (WI). For many of today’s young pharmacists, Min’s encouraging words, smile and enthusiasm were their first experience of pharmacy as she told them how wonderful a career it was; her passing is truly pharmacy’s loss.

She juggled her work at Medway School of Pharmacy with many other activities, serving as a school governor, as well as on church and local Woman’s Institute committees. Min was a talented artist and craftswoman, with hobbies including sewing and embroidery, painting, pottery and glass fusion, baking and gardening (even undertaking courses at the local horticultural college and opening her own garden to the public). Her flower arrangements adorned Rochester Cathedral every year at graduations. She was a fantastic baker, and staff and PhD students in the school were regularly treated to birthday cakes; at one point, she was making 80 cakes a year! Min still found time to be a great friend and support to her many friends and neighbours. She was a true force of nature.

Earlier this year, Min celebrated 60 years on the pharmacy register and her framed certificate hung in the hallway of her house for all who visited to see.

Min was a truly unique pharmacist, who was much loved and will be greatly missed. Our sympathy goes to her husband, Bernard; her two children, Helen and Andrew; and her grandchildren.

On behalf of Min’s friends and colleagues from Medway School of Pharmacy

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, January 2024, Vol 312, No 7981;312(7981)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2023.1.202020

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