Express & Star

Long-serving Sedgley GP and doctor for Wolves who supported the club all his life dies aged 94

A long-serving Sedgley GP has died in retirement in Hampshire aged 94.

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Dr Peter Bekenn retired from the Ridgeway Surgery in Sedgley in 1997

Dr Peter Bekenn had retired in 1997 after serving the Sedgley community for 39 years.

He was a lifelong Wolverhampton Wanderers fan and worked as a medical advisor to the football club for many years, coming on board as medical officer in their dark days in the Fourth Division.

At the time of his retirement he was senior partner of The Ridgeway Surgery and led a team of four GPs.

Dr Bekenn, who died on January 31, has his funeral service at New Forest Crematorium on March 4 at 1pm. Family flowers only are requested. He leaves his second wife Corinne, two daughters and five grandchildren.

He succeeded his late father, South African-born Cyril Bekenn, as a partner at the former Bloomfield House practice in Dudley Road, Sedgley, where his partner was the late Dr John Donaldson.

Dr Bekenn, who lived in Trysull for many years, lost his 16-year-old son Adam in a holiday narrowboat accident in 1978. His first wife Judy died in 1991 aged 59 after a fight against cancer.

At the time of his retirement he was the longest serving GP in the Dudley borough.

His family has given 72 years of service to the good health of the Sedgley community.

Dr Bekenn was born in Sedgley after his father came to the then village in 1925. His mother Madeleine was the first female councillor in Sedgley.

When he was six the family moved to Bloomfield House – now an old people's home – and a surgery was built in the back garden after his father went into partnership with Dr Donald Cunningham. In 1938 his uncle Dr Alex Bekenn joined the practice.

Peter Bekenn went into medicine after 20 months of national service and trained for six years at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. He worked in hospitals until his father's death and then returned to Sedgley to join the partnership.

He started the first antenatal and immunisation clinics in the area.

The practice moved to the new premises at The Ridgeway in 1994.

Dr Bekenn was also president of the Sedgley branch of the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmens' Families Association.

His daughter Candida Weston said he father had lived in the Lymington area for 24 years.

"He had fond memories of Sedgley. He was very much born and bred in the Black Country and was proud to have served the Sedgley community for so many years to the best of his ability.

"Right up until a few weeks before his death he was watching Wolves games on TV and was keeping up with their results until he died."

The Ridgeway Surgery issued a statement in tribute saying that it was with sadness and affection that the staff learned of the passing of their former senior partner Dr Peter John Bekenn.

Dr Bekenn had devoted a life time of work to serving his patients andwas a very caring, compassionate GP who encompassed all the qualities of a family doctor, as he would like himself to be described.

"He knew and cared for many generations of local families and took great joy from seeing how lives developed. As the family doctor he was not only witness to many births but was also there to support families at their darkest time of need during loss and bereavement.

He was cherished by his patients, colleagues and staff, many of whom still ask about him and will be very sad to hear of his passing shortly after his 94th birthday."

Dr Bekenn also worked for a time as Sedgley police surgeon and was medical officer for the Sedgley branch of the British Red Cross Society and chairman of Dudley Local Medical Committee.

"During his many years at The Ridgeway Surgery he witnessed seismic changes within general practice but always retained a strong conviction in the absolute value of the face to face consultation of the patient with the doctor. Something he practised with great skill and wisdom.

"Those who had the privilege of knowing him personally or who were colleagues or patients will be deeply sorry that such an exceptional upstanding servant of the community has passed on," the surgery tribute added.