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Family tribute to pharmacist Keith Anderson from Deal who dedicated his career to Pfizer

A pharmacist who battled with Parkinson’s disease for almost a decade will be remembered as an inspiration, his family says.

Keith Anderson, of The Strand, Walmer, qualified as a registered pharmacist in 1953, aged 21, and dedicated his career to pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

Keith Anderson pictured at The Strand Pharmacy in Walmer in 2014
Keith Anderson pictured at The Strand Pharmacy in Walmer in 2014

The grandfather of six who later worked as a locum in Deal, Walmer and Folkestone was diagnosed with Parkinson’s around eight years ago.

But the D.I.Y. man refused to let it hinder his life as he continued to take up new hobbies including learning computer dictation and poetry.

He died at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford on Wednesday, February 5, aged 87.

His son Tim Anderson said: “He was a bit of a diamond. So happy, kind and generous.

“As he became more disabled with Parkinson’s he took up new hobbies at home. He started writing a book of his life and writing poems, some of which he had published.

“Everyone has said how inspirational he was. He never gave up.”

“He loved scrabble and chess. The day before he went into hospital he played three games of chess in bed.

“Everyone has said how inspirational he was. He never gave up.”

Mr Anderson was born in Bradford in 1932 and attended Bradford Grammar School.

He started his career working in branches of Boots the Chemist in north west Lancashire and completed two years’ National Service in the dispensary and medical store of a 500-bed hospital in Egypt.

When he returned to the UK, he took up a position as a medical representative for Pfizer in Surrey.

Keith Anderson working in Boots in 1954
Keith Anderson working in Boots in 1954

He moved up the ranks becoming the area manager in Nottingham, Leeds and Yorkshire, a product manager, and later a licensing manager, which involved going abroad to look for products for Pfizer to market.

He lived in Deal with his wife, artist Pamela, but travelled extensively to Switzerland, France, Italy and Germany before becoming a training manager, then national sales manager for 13 years and finally a public affairs manager.

Tim Anderson said: “He was very committed. He always talked about his work and he had so many funny stories.”

Following his retirement in August 1991, Mr Anderson carried out locum pharmacy work for several years, helping out in Deal, Walmer and Folkestone.

In January 2015, he shared his thoughts with the Mercury in an article on how the role of a pharmacist has changed.

He said at the time: “I’ve seen a lot of changes in the time I worked in pharmacy; many more treatments and many more really effective medicines and advances in technology.

“The current job of a pharmacist is much broader than it used to be and is complimentary to that of the doctor.”

Mr Anderson was a member of The Downs Sailing Club for more than 50 years and the Rotary Club of Deal.

His wife Pamela died in 2013. He leaves three children, Tim, Juliet and Caroline and six grandchildren.

Mr Anderson’s funeral will be held at Barham Crematorium on Wednesday, February 26 at 2.40pm.

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