Pioneering Warsop dentist dies aged 90

 Dr Geoffrey Pearson with his wife, Janet, after being appointed MBE at Buckingham Palace in 1983.
Dr Geoffrey Pearson with his wife, Janet, after being appointed MBE at Buckingham Palace in 1983.

One of the most influential members of the health community in the 1970s-80s who pioneered state-of-the-art dentistry and promoted curbs on smoking long before they were official policy has died aged 90.

Dr Geoffrey Pearson MBE established his modern surgery in Warsop in the late 50s and later became a senior figure on the Central Nottinghamshire area health authority.

He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in recent years and died at his home in Hackney near Matlock on Sunday morning (November 20, 2016).

As early as the mid-50s, he was impressing on patients the need to quit smoking.

A student at Guy’s Hospital medical school in London after the war, Dr Pearson undertook part of his training with Archibald McIndoe, the plastic surgeon renowned for treating the wounds of burnt airmen during the war, at the East Grinstead maxilla facial unit. As a dentist, Dr Pearson specialised in oral surgery.

By the 1970s he had expanded the Warsop practice, which had several surgeries adn opened another surgery at Ollerton.

He served for many years on both the Trent Region dental committee and the Nottinghamshire health authority, which he led as acting chairman in 1984-85.

Dr Pearson was later a founding trustee of the John Eastwood Hospice in Mansfield, helping to raise more than £2.5 million.

He served on Warsop Urban District Council from 1961 to 1964 and was a founding member of the town’s youth club. Dr Pearson was appointed MBE in 1983 for services to the community.

Geoffrey Pearson was born in Chesterfield in 1926, the son of cinema organist Harold and Marjorie, who was a hairdresser. The couple also had a daughter, Anne.

The family had moved to Mansfield when he was young and he gained a place at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. He volunteered for the RAF in 1943 at the age of 17. He was sent for basic training to Blackpool where he found himself doing square bashing under the charge of the footballer Stanley Matthews.

After he was demobbed He had a brief spell as a supply teacher in Shirebrook before taking his place as a student at Guy’s Hospital. He won the junior proficiency prize at Guy’s - and a drinking contest sponsored by Tuborg in Finland.

Having qualified as a dentist, he took a year out to work in Warsop where among his first patients was 17-year-old secretary Janet Allan. They were engaged within six weeks and married two years later. The couple made their home in Birkland Avenue, Warsop, and had three children: Simon, who is a journalist; Guy, who is a composer and musician; and Sally, who is a psychotherapist. His wife, who was a magistrate in Mansfield in the 70s and 80s, survives him along with his children and six grandchildren.

Dr Pearson joined Mansfield Round Table, was founding president of Warsop Rotary Club in 1969 and became master of Broxtowe Masonic Lodge in Mansfield in 1976.

He earned his pilot’s licence while a member of Tollerton flying club, near Nottingham, and later became a weekend instructor at the Sheffield Aero Club at Netherthorpe.

He had several dogs, including two collies, Ben and Sam, and a minor bird called Ozwald – and loved walking with his wife, Janet, in the Lake District. He embraced his father’s love of music, playing the piano and the ukele, with a particular fondess for the songs of George Formby.