ForeverMissed

On Thursday, 21st March, 2019, Alison Dorothy Leitch Macvean, loving wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away at the age of 64, surrounded by her family.

Alison was born on the 15th of June, 1954, in Edinburgh, to Walter and Effie Temple. Talented academically throughout childhood and into secondary education, Alison graduated with a degree in Dietetics from Queen Margaret College, after which she spent most of her working life as a practicing dietician throughout Scotland, at one stage serving as deputy chief dietician at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Alison married Peter Macvean, and together they raised two sons, Andrew and Stephen.

Alison was a people person, an attentive and caring wife, mother, and friend who would go out of her way for anyone. Despite having her hands full raising a family of boys, Alison found time for a prodigious number of hobbies. Alison was fiercely determined, excelling at whatever she turned her mind to. A passionate cook and baker, many will remember with fondness a past birthday or occasion celebrated with one of her home baked cakes. Many houses have also been adorned, and children warmed, by her knitting and sewing. She recently took great pride in the woolen sweaters and hats made for her first grandchild. In early life, Alison was a talented ballet dancer and later volleyball player. In later life, when she wasn’t beating family at mini-golf tournaments, her great passion was long walks in the Scottish countryside. Alison had a love for travel, which took her around the world. Although she enjoyed visiting distant places, her greatest adventures were closer to home, where she took great pride in exploring and learning about Scotland, in the company of family and friends. Somehow, she also found spare time for various other pursuits including attending the Scottish ballet, singing in a choir, landscape art, attending musical concerts and giving back to the community via volunteer work at the food bank, or Water of Leith visitor center.

Alison’s legacy will live on through the incredible number of people and lives she has touched. She maintained friendships from all walks of life, from high-school, college, colleagues, and more. Fuelled by her kindness, selflessness, and thoughtfulness, she worked hard to ensure these friendships endured many years. Generous with her time, wit, wisdom and often strong opinions, she has kept many on the right path. Whether imparting advice, writing her famous comedy poems, or simply providing a listening ear, many have benefited from her friendship. Despite being dealt some difficult cards, Alison remained positive, up beat, and lived life to the fullest. She was and will remain an inspiration to many.

Alison was preceded in death by her father Walter, and mother Effie. She is survived by husband Peter, their two children Andrew and Stephen, her daughter-in-law Meredith, grandchild Olive, brother Douglas, and several cousins, nieces, and nephews. All who will miss her dearly, but carry on her spirit.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, April 18th, 2019 at Mortonhall Crematorium at 12 o’clock pm. The service will be followed by a continued honouring and celebration of her life at Charwood Restaurant. Family flowers only, please. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to Breast Cancer Scotland.

We would like to pay special thanks to all the family and friends who played such a pivotal role in Alison’s life, and the outpouring of support we have received since her passing. We would also like to extend a thanks to the medical staff at the Western General, who fought hard with her and ensured she remained comfortable and maintained dignity throughout.

Finally, we would greatly appreciate if all friends and family could share their favorite stories, memories, pictures, and lessons learned from Alison, so we can continue her memory.


Posted by Fiona Watt on June 15, 2020
Thinking of Alison this week. Missing our WhatsApp chat & catch up over coffee or lunch. Thank you for happy memories & friendship x x x
Posted by Valerie Fulkerson on June 15, 2020
Those who touch our lives .... stay in our hearts forever.

Alison, on this birthday, we are lifting you in thought and prayer. We always remember and cherish the good times. We also remember your laugh and radiant light that always gave us warmth and joy. Love, Kim & Valerie xo
Posted by Gail McCallum on June 15, 2020
Ali, we celebrated your birthday this morning. Remembering so many great days together. Sistas fun x

There’s a photo in the gallery
Posted by Lesley Allison on March 23, 2020
I miss you so much Alison . I can’t believe a year has gone by already . With love ,Lesley
Posted by Anne Payne on March 22, 2020
On a recent visit to Edinburgh I was overwhelmed with sadness as I walked along Princes Street, feeling again the shock of losing Alison. She was the kindest, most thoughtful and funniest of friends. Its so unfair that she's not here to share all the ups and downs of life, with her practical no nonsense approach. I'll always miss you Alison. You leave a space no-one can fill.
Posted by Karen Craig on March 22, 2020
On this Mother’s Day, I would just like to say that Alison was so happy as a mother in law to Meredith and just over the moon with Olive.
Happy Mother ‘s Day to you both from Alison, by proxy .
Posted by Gail McCallum on March 21, 2020
Ali, it was such a privilege to know you and be such great friends with you. We miss you so much. We had so much fun together - great days out with picnics on the beaches or up the hills, and fabby overnighters at loads of different places - big cheapies thanks to itison, Groupon, etc. These happy and amazingly funny times we will never ever forget That was after we got severance from work
Before that, we had an amazing time working in Forth Valley which was a very happy place to be and we worked together as an amazing team but didn’t realise at that point, the huge bond we were developing
So so wish you were still with us but so do everyone else who ever had the luck to meet you
Love you loads - think about you every day
Sista Louise, Janey, and Gail xxx
Posted by Valerie Fulkerson on March 21, 2020
We remember Alison everyday, but on this day most especially. You are missed and continue to be dearly loved. xo
Posted by Valerie Fulkerson on March 21, 2020
We woke up thinking about Alison on what would have been her 65th birthday. Always remember that we love you and think of you. May all the angels in Heaven gather together to sing you a very happy birthday. xo
Posted by Fiona McOwan on June 15, 2019
Still missing our chances to catch up, share stories, grow older but still not feel it, feel blessed to be both friend and family x
Posted by Karen Craig on June 15, 2019
Happy Birthday, Ali, will always miss you.
Posted by Lesley Allison on April 18, 2019
I met Alison at college where we studied dietetics and was privileged to be her friend ever since . That we kept in touch and met up regularly is down to Alison and I will miss our chats and laughs more than I can say . She was an inspiration , never complaining despite going through difficult times and remaining cheerful and positive . She loved her family and was so proud of her boys and baby Olive was such a joy to her . Alison will be missed by everyone who knew her but I know everyone will have many great memories as indeed I have and that she will be remember with love
Posted by Fiona Watt on April 17, 2019
Alison & I met while we were both on treatment in ward 1, WGH. It took a few treatments for us to start talking as Alison mentioned later she usually chose to read her book & observe. I feel very lucky to have met such a good friend to share the challenges, fun & celebration in our lives over last seven years.
Alison & I so enjoyed exploring Edinburgh’s restaurants having early supper & a glass of wine after treatment. These early evenings chatting, putting world to rights, laughing & sharing our lives I so appreciated. Alison’s humour, wit, thoughtfulness & common sense in our chats & WhatsApp messages I will so miss. Her delight of becoming a grandma to Olive I so enjoyed sharing as we were both grannies-in-waiting together. I loved the lovely photos of Olive in grandma’s knitted jumpers. We had planned to change our post treatment catch ups slightly to allow us to shop for granddaughter outfits!
Thank you so much Alison for your friendship, wisdom, wit, laughter & understanding. Forever missed... ❤️❤️ all my love Fiona
Thinking of Pete, Andrew, Stephen, Meredith & Olive
Posted by Valerie Fulkerson on April 17, 2019
The summer of 2011 brought Alison, Pete & Stephen to the states to partake in the wedding festivities of Andrew & Meredith. It was a happy occasion we all enjoyed. Alison had such a sense of style and was stunning in her purple brocade suit at the wedding. I recall her having so much fun on the dance floor during the reception. 
Meeting Alison for the first time was like being reacquainted with an old friend. She was friendly, easy to talk with, quick to show her sense of humor and fun-loving. It didn't take long to observe that her family was priority and that Andrew & Stephen were her pride and joy. Her magnetic pull gave us a quick bond from the wedding to the next 7 years. We exchanged routine Facebook private messages to stay in touch. She'd tell of her various travels with her girlfriends and as I read each line, I imagined being there laughing and joining in the fun. Her retirement gave her the opportunity to volunteer in the community, which I could tell was meaningful. It also afforded her the time to provide care to family members who needed it. Such a loyal and dedicated lady to those she loved. Stories of Pete delivering flowers were some of my favorites as we laughed together via those private messages. I am forever grateful for the time Alison and I spent together and she will remain in my heart. I promise to keep her memory alive and to tell wee Olive Eilidh all about her Grandma.
Deep in our hearts a memory is kept,
Of one we loved and shall never forget.
With love, gratitude and deep sympathy,
Valerie
Posted by Pamela Stoughton on April 16, 2019
I am honored to have met Alison and Pete during their visit to the States for Andrew’s marriage. Alison’s strength, intellect, warm nature and zest for the things she enjoyed shone through as readily as her smile and wit. I particularly liked our conversation about differences in our countries’ food and cooking.
Tom joins me in extending condolences to all of Alison’s family, with special thoughts and prayers to Pete, Andrew and Stephen. “When you lose someone you love, you gain an angel you know.” With love and sympathy, Pam Stoughton
Posted by Alison Heath on April 16, 2019
We met as new students at Queen Margaret and became friends for life. My name, the combination of Temple offspring given names, was a novelty to Effie & Walter who always gave me a warm welcome at Caiystane Gardens. At College, it was usual for Alison, a very proud Auntie, to have a funky, creative piece of knitting on the go for the next generation of Temples as they arrived. I remember only one episode of tension between us when we both bought the same chenille jacket from a trendy Frederick St boutique. Sharing a name was one thing but to have encroached on her personal sense of style was a step too far! 
In the heady days of 70's student life in Embra, we were disco buddies. Our danceable solution to teenage revolution continued in Leeds where Alison survived a placement at the General. On one of our nights out, Alison met her Brian Ferry, tall, dark and handsome. This was someone I'd last seen in short trousers at Primary school in Largs, what were the chances?! The photographic evidence of Peter in short trousers was all Alison needed to make the decision that he would be the father of her children.
Student days over, with proper jobs and partners, we met on holiday jaunts to Jersey, France & Dorset while I was living in Hampshire & Avon. When we met, time melted away. Alison knitted for my offspring before her boys arrived, as cute as their father's school photo had predicted. She had the perfect jiggle to comfort a wee one having had more practice than most with her nieces & nephew. She'd kept her hand in with Theo & luckily, on her last visit to us, we had one for her to jiggle and to her delight, a couple of pieces of her handiwork from back in the day. Her thoughtfulness and generosity abounded and her handmade gifts were precious confirmation of her friendship.
Alison always stepped up for her family, dealing with eldercare whilst coping with the reality of her life changing diagnosis. She didn't shy from making difficult calls or confidently asserting her case. Her courage was amazing and understated, she kept calm and carried on helping, sharing, caring, loving, dancing, travelling, laughing and being a brilliant friend. When nothing was sure for her, everything was possible. Proud of her growing family and her city, she shared so much and has left us all with very special fond memories
Posted by Anne Payne on April 16, 2019
Alison and I met as research dietitians with the Cardiovascular Research Unit at Edinburgh University, in 1993. We worked together for 3 years and remained close friends for the subsequent 23 years. Once you met Alison she quickly became a necessary part of life, such was her warmth, generosity and kindness of spirit. Alison has been there for me through many difficult times over the years, imparting her no nonsense brand of wisdom with humour and very often, a stiff gin. I loved her sense of style, always chic. No flowery tops for Alison. She so loved her family and, yes, was rightly proud of her 3 boys and first grandchild. The world seems a little bit empty without her.
Posted by Ellen Nesfield on April 14, 2019
It's often the case in life that it's not until we miss someone that we realise just how amazing they were. That was not the case with Alison. You knew every step of the way just how fortunate/privileged you were to be in the company of such an amazing lady. Yet words escape me.
But when I think of my dear, dear friend and neighbour, for so many years, words foremost are: elegant, stoic, inspiring, understanding, principled and intelligent with a wonderful, sharp sense of humour that never failed..........
We never did get our gin bench organised amidst the daffodils over the road, but we did manage a few tipples kerbside watching the boys wave from six meters atop the Leylandii!
Posted by Fiona McOwan on April 12, 2019
I am a second cousin to Alison and we played together as children and followed each other's working pattern, loves and lives mainly through our first cousin parents, Christmas cards and so on. But we had a lovely meet up again as grannies, and the years just evaporated away. Forever missed indeed.
Posted by Alexa Brain on April 7, 2019
Alison worked as an invigilator for the British Council on the International English Language Training system (IELTS) exams. She was a great colleague and over the months and years also became a friend. We shared many giggles and laughs at the antics of the students and it was a way of keeping in touch with young people which in turn kept us young! She was so proud of her boys and shared many photos of them with us. I know she was very much looking forward to seeing wee Olive. We had planned to meet up in Glasgow at a European restaurant to pay tribute to Brexit however it never happened ( and at time of writing Brexit hasn't happened either!) We will miss her and on behalf of al your colleagues at the British Council Alison, thank you, you certainly did a good job!
Posted by Foodbank Kadies on March 30, 2019
We met Alison through the NW Edinburgh Foodbank. When I arrived Alison and Jane were ‘old hands’. Alison was always cheerful, down-to-earth and practical; plain-speaking but never rude or unkind. My sort of person – happy to follow the processes/ rules but not tied to them if they were impractical or just daft. Tuesday mornings were always fun making up food boxes, dating the donated food and teasing Jane when she pitched up late again (she was never ‘that’ late, but it was fun pulling her leg). The 3 of us would have some lively discussions about anything and everything.
When I went back to work at the end of 2014 I had to stop volunteering, but Alison, Jane & I formed the Foodbank Kadies Dinner Club, meeting up every couple of months.  Alison would always tell us how the family was getting on – Pete and the ‘boys’. She was so proud of you all and absolutely delighted with the news of baby Olive. She was a lovely person.
Our last dinner was in January when she was in great spirits and seemed so well despite everything. We were supposed to meet up on 19th March, but it wasn’t to be. We will miss her terribly.
Kirsty (& Jane)

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Fiona Watt on June 15, 2020
Thinking of Alison this week. Missing our WhatsApp chat & catch up over coffee or lunch. Thank you for happy memories & friendship x x x
Posted by Valerie Fulkerson on June 15, 2020
Those who touch our lives .... stay in our hearts forever.

Alison, on this birthday, we are lifting you in thought and prayer. We always remember and cherish the good times. We also remember your laugh and radiant light that always gave us warmth and joy. Love, Kim & Valerie xo
Posted by Gail McCallum on June 15, 2020
Ali, we celebrated your birthday this morning. Remembering so many great days together. Sistas fun x

There’s a photo in the gallery
Recent stories
Shared by Jennie Temple on April 15, 2019

My memories of our Aunty Alison (AA) begin in there with all my other earliest memories – snap shots of sensations, of being around her and hearing her - this is no surprise as she was a constant in our lives from when we were born. 

As I grew older, my memories of AA become clearer and I remember swinging in the hanging basket chair (so cool) in her bedroom in the house that her and dad grew up in, in Caiystane Gardens, and always wanting one for myself – even now whenever I encounter one of these chairs, I think of her and remind myself to find a place for one in my life. I also remember being less content when Helen got to go and see King Kong and I didn’t – affronted at the idea that I was somehow too young! I’m not sure when this was, or when AA moved to Panmure Place with Pete, but I remember so well looking forward to dinners with them in our visits to their flat – excited not only because we got to see them, but  there was always the promise of good food, spaghetti bolognaise was the ultimate favourite, made all the more so tasty with the addition of never before heard of ‘Parmesan Cheese’ My adult life of tenement living has certainly been inspired by these visits, and I am always aspiring to Panmure Place!

After one such visit, when William was a baby (so, early 1980 perhaps) I remember us leaving the flat and AA slipping on the worn tenement steps whilst carrying William’s glass baby feeding bottle – she got a really nasty cut – through a tendon in her hand, and a contraption afterwards which she delighted in showing and explaining to us– a sort of rubber band, safety pin thing that allowed the retraining of the finger, which had been so seriously damaged by the fall. While I’m writing about this, I am remembering that, maybe round about the same time, she gave us one of her old biology books, which included a photograph of a sneeze and her explaining to me what was going on. I really loved that book.  Always so clever and knowledgeable and happy to share. 

I also remember being in the attic, again at Caiystane Gardens, and playing with her ice-skates and on one occasion being given her old red vanity case and ballet pointes – although, I don’t think I was ever half the dancer that she was, but I tried! In later years, I happily took ownership of old tapes (including Tapestry by Carole King – now, a firm favourite) 

As I became older still, my memories of AA are an absolute constant, always there and always present. The never, ever missed birthday and Christmas cards with her beautiful handwriting, which grew in who they were from and who they were to, to include Andrew and Stephen and Meredith, and in my direction, Chris, Rudy and Alice. And then with social media, sharing photos and stories, even not seeing her in person, knowing that she was there with a ‘like’ and a comment. 

There is so much more to say and it’s hard to sum up easily. I miss her and will alway miss her. We are so privileged to have had her in our lives and I am so very grateful for her wisdom and support, and her approach to life is something that I aspire to. Recently, I made a post on Instagram about my grandmothers (who co-incidentally both passed away on the same date, different years) and I wrote about how someone had once told me that when I was finding things hard, I should take a few moments to imagine my line of women, holding me up, a chain of strength. I said that there at the front were my grandmothers Alice and Effie. Aunty Alison commented that the sentiment was wonderful, and that it was sage advice. Now she is there too and I, we, will always have her with us. And she had the most magic laugh. 

Always a friend!

Shared by Karen Craig on April 13, 2019

I studied with Allison at Queen Margaret College and enjoyed all the silliness of youth with her!

She used to take pity on me and took me home to her parents for tea, perhaps the best meal of the week. We have kept up all these years, more a testament to her than me, she has always shared her life and made sure that we met up regularly.

On one such day out, Pete and her had not long moved into Panmure Place, she was complaining that her telly was goosed, and with a little persuasion, she returned home with a big new one! Pete was dubious about allowing her out again with me! She was always her own person.

She used to walk from there to the Astley Ainslie Hospital to work. One day, while sauntering along, with both her hands in her pockets, a “gentleman” “rumbled her boobies” and ran away! She couldn’t get her hands out quickly enough to stop this and I’m sure she never was so relaxed again!

We’ve laughed about this escapade often, over the years.

Throughout our friendship, Allison has included me in her life, I know far too much about all you boys and even the trials and tribulations of all her family. She adored her family!

She has been such a beautiful friend and I for one will miss her text messages, our little rants at the world and just her company.

I’m honoured to have known her.

One of a kind ❤️

Shared by Helen Temple on April 4, 2019

Aunty Alison has been a massive part of my life forever . From a very young age I remember her so well. There was only 16 years between us so as I got older the gap got smaller and smaller. I remember when I was about 12 she was just so cool in my eyes. 

One  of my favourite memories is when  AA and uncle peter took me to the cinema, it was the one at the top of Lothian road and the first film they took me to see was King Kong in 1976 , it was a remake of the original I remember how excited I was to be taken out as was a huge treat. They took me to the pictures several times and we would go back to their flat in Panmure Place for tea, I loved that flat , the picture in the toilet always made me giggle . I remember AA taking me to see Grease for my 8th birthday ( uncle peter ducked out of that one) it’s probably still my favourite film and I often think I’m Sandy at karaoke nights. 

Aunty Alison sewing always came in handy , one particular  birthday I must of been 12 or 13 she got me a pair of Oddball jeans, I was so pleased as they were a must have at the time, they had to be super super tight, so AA took them in for me, we both laughed her more than me as I struggled to get them on, having to lie down on her bed to get them on. I couldn’t bend my legs but hey they looked fantastic 

As it turned out we ended up having our children very close together, Andrew 6months before Mark and  Stephen just weeks before Ellie. Both Mark and Ellie benefited from the beautiful knitwear that Aunty Alison made. I know many babies have and will , she was so creative I have beautiful curtains and cushions at home that she made. She was also great at flowers and I was delighted when she agreed to help my mum do the church flowers for my wedding last year. They really were so beautiful

Over the last few years I have constantly been inspired, amazed and encouraged by how positive my Aunty was. Her glass was always half full.

Her zest for life and living will always stay with me. I will forever be thankful I was lucky enough to call her Aunty and have her not only in my life but also my children’sI will miss our chats, laughs and her advice (which she gave me a lot of over the years) but I will always keep her so very close to my heart ❤️❤️❤️