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Stanley Oglesby obituary

Stanley Oglesby commissioned a crossword from Araucaria to celebrate his wife’s 80th birthday
Stanley Oglesby commissioned a crossword from Araucaria to celebrate his wife’s 80th birthday

My father, Stanley Oglesby, who has died aged 87, was a statistician with the Glasgow-based textile company J&P Coats for his entire working life, rising to be head of operational research before he retired.

He was born in a pitman’s cottage in Seaham Harbour, County Durham, the second of three sons of Vincent, a miner, and his wife, Adelaide (nee Marsden). His diabetic father died when Stan was 11, leaving the family dependent on “the parish” for financial support. Stan’s own health as a child was not good, and he spent almost a year in hospital at the age of 13.

Despite everything, he passed his 11-plus exam and went to Robert Richardson grammar school in Ryhope, where he excelled, before gaining a scholarship to Imperial College London to study mathematics. He graduated there with a first-class degree in 1952 and went on to national service in Germany.

In 1953, in the middle of his military duty, he married his childhood sweetheart, Olga (nee Penman), whom he had originally met at a Scout dance. She worked on collating data in the market research department at Proctor and Gamble in Newcastle, but once they got married they moved to Thornliebank in Glasgow, where in 1953 Stan took up his position as a statistician with J&P Coats, a job that required the use of early computing systems. The firm (now Coats) was a multinational company with thread and dye works in many countries. Stan’s expertise in colour measurement and dye recipe prediction meant he was required to undertake extensive foreign travel. He wrote and co-authored research papers and was awarded the Worshipful Company of Dyers’ Research Medal in 1971. In addition, he became treasurer of the Scottish Royal Statistical Society.

After retirement Stan pursued a broad range of interests, including supporting Sunderland football club and spending more time with his grandchildren. A Guardian reader all his life, he particularly enjoyed doing the prize crossword. Araucaria (John Graham) was his favourite setter and he commissioned him to compose a personalised crossword to celebrate Olga’s 80th birthday. It was suitably difficult.

Sadly, he was increasingly affected by Alzheimer’s in the last two years of his life. He is survived by Olga and their five children, Alyson, Roger, Hilary, Nigel and me, 11 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

This article titled "Stanley Oglesby obituary" was written by Lesley Oglesby, for The Guardian on Wednesday 10 January 2018 05.26pm

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