It is with great sadness that the University announces the death of Ted Pridgeon, who passed away on March 10, aged 92. Ted, and his wife Dr Myrtle Pridgeon, have had a long association with Warwick, donating over £1.5 million to the University including £1.25 million for the permanent endowment of a Research Chair in Neurosciences.
Matthew Henry Pridgeon, better known as Ted, was born near Louth in Lincolnshire in 1916. His family had been farmers for many generations and he soon became interested in cattle breeding.
Ted's herd of Lincoln Red won prizes at the Lincoln and Royal Shows during the 1960s and his Herefords were exported to Argentina and South Africa.
An interest in finance led Ted to become a 'name' at Lloyd's of London.
During the Second World War Ted was weapons instructor and regimental sergeant major for the Lincolnshire Home Guard. His knack for rifle shooting earned him a place in the English and British teams and he won several medals in the 1950s while he toured places such as Canada, the West Indies and the Channel Islands.
A member of The Newbold Golf Club for many years, Ted founded the Pridgeon Cup for over 65s in the 1980s.
Ted met Myrtle through a mutual friend at the Royal Show in Stoneleigh. She was Community Physician for South Warwickshire at the time.
They married at Warwick Register Office in 1985 and Ted moved to Leamington, saying it was "the nicest town he had ever seen".
When he retired he took an interest in medicine through his cousin Henry Shucksmith, a successful surgeon from Leeds.
Ted founded the Chair in Neurosciences in the Department of Biological Sciences in 1998, a post which has been held since its inception by Professor Nick Dale.
In 2007 he also made a donation to allow the University to give a medal to the medical school undergraduate who produces the best work each year.
Myrtle also gave £250,000 towards a postgraduate fellowship in Biological Sciences in 2002.
In December 2006, Ted and Myrtle became the first people to receive Benefactor's Medals from the University.
Their donations have helped advance research into improving the lives of those with serious medical conditions.
Mr Pridgeon's funeral took place at Oakley Wood Crematorium on March 30.