Tribute: William Lee Hetherington (1947–2021)

We are truly saddened to learn of the passing of our family relative, Lee Hetherington, on 17 July 2021, of complications from cancer, which he bore bravely and with dignity until the end. 

Lee was brought up in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, and educated at the local Boy’s Grammar School (1958–1966). He then entered the School of Pharmacy, University of London, where he received a BPharm degree in 1969. After a preregistration year, he next continued with his PhD degree at the “Square” (1970–1973), in which he studied drug metabolism and, specifically, the human metabolism of quinalbarbitone. Lee then worked at the former Sterling-Winthrop Research Centre in Alnwick, Northumberland for several years. In 1981, he took over the pharmacy business then owned by our late father, Alan D Kinghorn, located at Newburn, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Lee and our father were second cousins. Lee continued to work in this pharmacy for some 30 years before finally fully retiring at the age of 65 years. He was very popular with the patients and customers at Newburn, owing in large part to his naturally very friendly and warm manner. After his retirement, Lee travelled frequently to a holiday home in Ibiza with his wife Susan. 

Lee was an outstanding rugby player and a long-term member of the Gateshead Rugby Football Club, which organised a reception to celebrate his life on 28 July 2021, the day of his funeral. He attended many reunion events of Gateshead Grammar School. Lee was always seen with a smile on his face and a glass of good cheer in his hand, and was the veritable life and soul of any social gathering. 

We extend our deepest commiserations to Lee’s widow, Susan, as well as their three children — Christopher, Simon and Sara — all three of whom graduated in medicine, and have since gone on to have very successful careers. 

Douglas Kinghorn, Myra A Kinghorn and Christopher D Kinghorn 

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, August 2021, Vol 307, No 7952;307(7952)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.99053

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