Jean Campbell Grieve

15th September 1925 - 5th March 2018

Jean was born in Edinburgh on 15 September 1925 and was the first of Andrew and Annie McArthur’s four children. She was a sister to George, Barbara and Anna.

The family home was in Granton and that’s where Jean grew up. She attended Wardie Primary School and went on to complete her secondary education at Trinity Secondary.

Jean was an extremely personable child who enjoyed the company of many friends she liked athletics, was a good runner and played hockey at school.

Upon leaving school took a job as a telephonist in the Civil Service.

Post War Jean met Albert Grieve, affectionately Bert; a twin and one of a large family. They married on 26 April 1947 in Wardie Parish Church and settled down in Learmonth Grove not too far from her sister Anna, to whom she was particularly close.

Jean and Bert had two children; Douglas and Gordon and Jean relished her role as a housewife and mother, creating a close and loving family.

In the mid 1960’s they moved into what became the family home in Orchard Bank.

Of their mother and father Gordon said: “My deep feelings are of warmth and happiness. No matter what; mum and dad were always there for us. They helped when we had problems and supported us in everything we did.

From an early age we started going on holiday to Burghead, a small fishing village in Morayshire. As youngsters we had fabulous times there for many years; staying with Jim and Maggie; who became such good friends to our parents and for Douglas and me they were like another gran and grandad.”

When the boys left home to follow their own professional careers that Jean returned to the work place as a physiotherapist assistant in the Western General Hospital. And following retirement, worked in the charity shop ‘Kist’ in Edinburgh’s West End. In addition, from 1986 for over twenty years she also worked as a volunteer in St. Columba’s Hospice; her service was recognised with the presentation of a Certificate in May 2006.

Gordon said; “We couldn’t have asked for a better mum and dad. She was a very caring and loving person who went out of her way to help not only us but others as well. She doted on her grandchildren and loved all her great grandchildren”

Jean was a much-loved grandmother to four grandchildren; Sarah, Andrew, Laura and Clare.

She had seven great grandchildren; Jamie, Zoe, Struan, Olivia, Abigale, Lewis and Lexy.

Memories from the grandchildren

Sarah and Andrew: “The red chocolate biscuit tin - always full of caramel wafers, blue ribband and kit Kats; and the Milky Ways in the back of grandad’s car when they picked us up from school on a Friday. Vienetta!

The heat from the fire when you walked into the living room, "Countdown" on the TV and the Daily Express open at the crossword page.

When we were young and staying the night, she'd always give us a hot water bottle to keep us cosy. We'd get a choice of the little Kelllogs cereal boxes in the morning with lots of hot buttered toast (mainly toast to go with the doorstep of butter). And she always blamed grandad for snoring loudly - we later found out she was just as much to blame!


We'd be full to bursting after dinner, yet gran would always offer more; "cheese, oatcakes, chutney?!"

Dancing round her living room in our vests and pants to Scottish country dance music!

That time she fell down the steps in Spain - and to quote Gran...what a "silly bism" she was!!

The pure enjoyment she got from seeing her great-grandchildren

Her stubborn determination to manage without, "that bloody stick or trolley'. That inner strength was what kept her going these past few years.

She was so good at giving advice about everything and anything, and always had the kettle on (or a bottle of sherry at the ready!)

Laura: Playing in the garden, mucking about in the greenhouse picking tomatoes or picking apples off the trees, then going inside and being allowed to wash and eat a few.

Staying over at granny’s evokes a feeling of love and warmth. I always had good fun with all the old toys, making chocolate covered crispies, then go to a lovely cosy bed.

 While at granny’s, being allowed to do different things and to have salt on my food…it was a complete joy.

Clare: When we were young I remember saying overnight with Granny and grandad. When I awoke in the morning granny would come in beside me and we would lie together and count the ceiling tiles or play ‘ministers cat’

I always remember granny would allow us to mix our mince and potatoes together which we weren’t allowed to do at home.

Granny allowed us to do things.

I loved going to work with Granny in the ‘Kist’…the charity shop…and all her friends gossiping and sorting through clothes.

She would always greet her great grandchildren with a huge smile and say; ‘oh hello my darlings.”


Family holidays with the grandchildren were enjoyed under the blue sunny Mediterranean skies in the heat and warmth of the Balearic Islands; Ibetha, Majorca and Minorca.

Of the grandchildren Douglas said; “Jean had no interest in material possessions; her greatest pleasure in life was from her grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

After over 53 years of marriage Jean lost Bert, when he passed away in 2001. Reflecting on this Gordon said; “She had a loving and happy marriage and in dad’s latter years when he suffered from ill health she was there for him every minute of every day, looking after and caring for him.”

It was Christmas Eve 2013 when health issues impacted Jean’s life, that she moved into Strachan House Care Home. Douglas said; “Mum was non-complaining, even in adversity. She was extremely happy with her ‘lot’ in life. She was greatly liked and highly regarded as a resident in Strachan House; whose staff were genuinely sorry when she passed away.”

Daughter in law Fiona recalls the words of the poet Thomas Campbell “To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

Posted in In Loving Memory.