Stuart Paynter Obituary

Stuart Paynter (MSc Public Health, 1999), sadly passed away 25 May 2016 aged 46 in Queensland, Australia where he was Senior Lecturer of Clinical Epidemiology at the School of Public Health.

Stuart was a wildly intelligent, outgoing person who wasn’t easily forgotten by those who met him. He was most happy whilst being involved in research or being in touch with the natural world – hiking, canoeing and camping. Those who knew him knew of his compassion for the disenfranchised, which fueled his research and saved and improved the lives of many people worldwide.

In his short but impactful life, Stuart made his mark on public health and education in the UK and Australia; holding posts with the WHO, NHS, Health Protection Agency and Primary Care Trust in the UK after graduating from The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Stuart moved back to Australia in 2008 as a Public Health Consultant for Queensland Health and shortly thereafter undertook his PhD at University of Queensland (Title: Acute lower respiratory infections in infants in the tropics: environmental drivers of seasonal epidemics). After completing his PhD in 2014, he had a number of Senior Lecturer roles in Queensland and Perth. From 2003 until his passing, Stuart authored 22 peer-reviewed journal articles on infectious diseases, 12 of which were first author publications. Stuart marked his highlights as American Journal of Epidemiology and a commentary in the Lancet.

After his death, Stuart’s MSc Public Health classmates came together to remember him and the following touching tribute was read at his funeral in Australia:

“We all met in Sept 1999 when we started our MSc in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. From day one we were a very close knit bunch. DiverseStuart Paynter2

backgrounds but humour and a fondness for making light of life was what seemed to bring us together. Epic friendships forged resulting in ski trips, haunted nunneries in Italy, weddings,
graduations, trekking Britain’s 3 highest peaks, many hours spent drinking cocktails in Freud’s Bar, much fine dining, crazy dancing, we could go on and on… Stuart was at the epicenter of all we did that year.Towards the end of the course Stuart began casually but persistently floating the idea of a group of us going on a road trip to Tuscany that summer. Once we agreed to hear him out he produced a guide book that he had been through in great detail, marking out the places we would be going to, with lots of notes written in pencil all through the book. He had already planned the entire trip, a group of us went, and had one of the most wonderful and memorable holidays of our lives. This was the epitome of the Stuart we loved – unassuming, well-informed, passionate and someone people wanted to spend time with.We all loved Stuart’s ability to laugh at himself and his demons, his brilliance, his frankness, his wicked wit, his geekiness and his loyalty to his friends. He was a superb teacher and was incredibly supportive of those in remedial statistics, some of whom would not have passed the course without his expert tuition and patience! We all loved his turn of phrase – for the last 17 years we have been quoting “you gotta eat big to get big”. Even though we have all scattered across the world we retain our memories of an amazing year together and our continued friendships. We all feel it was a great privilege to have known Stuart and to have shared the best of times with him.
We will always cherish the memories of happy times together and all feel thankful that he was our friend. All of our lives have been enriched by knowing such a unique and special person. He will live on in our memories and stories.”

If you would like to pass on your condolences to Stuart’s family, please email us: alumni@lshtm.ac.uk and we will make sure that they receive them.

1 comment

  1. Jane Che

    RIP Dr Stuart. To the family Accept my heartfelt condolences.