Tribute: Lionel John Tunnard (1940–2021)

It is with immense sadness that the Tunnard family announce the passing of beloved husband and father, Lionel John Tunnard, on 26 July 2021, aged 80 years.

Lionel studied pharmacy at the University of Bradford during the 1960s and met Paula, his wife of 56 years, in his final year. Upon graduation, he started working as a pharmacist for Co-op, before several years working as a pharmaceutical rep for Pharma Italia.

The year of 1973 was a busy one, when an opportunity arose as part of Lionel’s locum work to take over a pharmacy in Dronfield, Derbyshire, which was soon followed by the arrival of his first daughter Fleur. A strong work ethic was ingrained in his personality, and he worked tooth and nail to make the business a success and support his expanding family, with second daughter Emily born in 1976 and only son Gavin in 1981.

The golden period of the 80s and 90s saw the business go from strength to strength, assisted by Paula helping with the accounts and the kids holding Saturday jobs in the shop. A second business at Mansfield Road was acquired for a short period of time, and the running entrusted to his friend Ernest Perkins, who he had known from his first job at the Co-op. 

By the mid-90s, the girls were approaching adulthood and off to university, and Lionel was starting to see that the golden period of the independent pharmacies was drawing to a close, as more chains moved in. His foresight proved to be correct and he sold the business in 1996 and moved down to Bournemouth, Dorset. 

Retirement didn’t last long and Lionel continued working locum shifts until only five years ago, at the age of 75 years, meaning his professional career spanned five decades. His life, achievements and the family he leaves behind are a testament to both his Tunnard tenacity and the roles that were most important to him as a provider and family man.

Fleur Denton, Emily Tunnard and Gavin Tunnard

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, September 2021, Vol 307, No 7953;307(7953)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.107249

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