Tributes paid to popular former Selsey GP described by patients as ‘the perfect gentleman’

Dr Christopher Willcox was described by patients as the perfect gentleman,
Dr Christopher Willcox was described by patients as the perfect gentleman,

Tributes have been paid to a former Selsey GP, who was ‘much loved and respected by all who knew him’.

Dr Christopher Willcox, who in his retirement was described by patients as ‘the perfect gentleman’, died on Sunday (June 9) at St Richard’s Hospital aged 78.

Observer article printed in 2000 following Dr Christopher Willcox's retirement

Observer article printed in 2000 following Dr Christopher Willcox's retirement

Paying tribute to his father, who had Parkinson’s disease, Merlin Willcox said: “He had been a GP in Selsey for almost 30 years. He was a wise, steady, devoted, kindly and loyal family man, friend and colleague; the most unselfish of men. He was much loved and respected by all who knew him.

“At Christmas, his home would be flooded with gifts, and when he retired in 2000, he received many glowing tributes from patients. Among the best of his kind, and kind as the best. We have greatly appreciated the respect you have shown to us over the years.

"No matter how minor our concerns you did not show irritation or disbelief. Your examinations have always been thorough and skilful, your explanations full, and all achieved with an air of calm and good humour. Kind, courteous and polite – always the perfect gentleman.”

Merlin said Christopher would ‘diligently visit’ patients at home, something he said ‘rarely happens’ now.

He added: “His kindness and good humour were praised by all.

“He married Marie-Christine in 1966, and travelled with her to Borneo, where he worked for two years as the only doctor in a district hospital serving an area of 500 square miles, before settling in Selsey.

"He enjoyed ten years of retirement, serving on the parochial council of St Peter’s Church and as lead volunteer tending the churchyard at St Wilfrid’s Chapel, Church Norton,
until, during a charity concert at St Peter’s in 2011, he suffered a major stroke.

"This left him with left-side paralysis, and then he developed Parkinson’s disease, leading to increasing apathy and, finally, difficulties in swallowing, which he endured without complaint.

"He is survived by his wife, his son (Merlin) and his granddaughter (Iona)."

Merlin has started a JustGiving fundraising page to fund projects to improve healthcare and scholarships in his father’s name for children ‘from some of the poorest backgrounds in Africa’. Click here to donate

Merlin added: "His funeral will be held on Thursday, June 20, at 2pm at St Peter’s Church, followed by burial at St Wilfrid’s Chapel, Church Norton.

"All are welcome to attend. No flowers please. Donations to Afrinspire (Ref 31741 Willcox)."