Tributes paid to former Fife art teacher

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved and ‘inspirational’ former art teacher.

Monday, 18th March 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 5:03 pm
Robert Dickson.

East Wemyss man Robert Dickson, known as Rab, died last month, aged 71. He is survived by his wife Jane, daughter Carla and son Adam.

The popular teacher taught art and design at Buckhaven High School from 1972 until the mid ‘80s. He was then the principal head of art at Glenrothes High School until he retired in 2006.

Dundee-born Rab then helped Jane, a professional singer, managing her posters, booking events, and acting as a personal lighting and sound engineer – calling himself ‘Rab the Roadie’.

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He was also a motorcycle champion for three consecutive years during the mid ‘80s, as well as a keen cyclist.

However, despite these accomplishments, most will remember him for his time as a teacher.

Rab’s family say they have been inundated with hundreds of tributes from friends and colleagues. Pupils he taught from as far back as 1972 have also got in touch, saying how much of an impact he had on their lives.

One tribute from a former pupil, who only had one class under Rab, said: “Unlike other art classes, where we were just told to ‘draw something’, he grabbed a book of Van Gogh, sat down and showed us one of his works. He asked us what we saw, the mood of the painting, the techniques – and then after that shared the details of what Van Gogh was going through at that stage of his life, and what his ideas were and showed us how it was different to how we were seeing the painting at the start. It was a really amazing 40 minutes lesson, and I still remember it all these years later.”

Others shared their tributes on Facebook, describing him as a ‘fantastic teacher’ and ‘pure gentleman’.

Jane, who married Rab in 2014 following a 35-year relationship, said her “life without him will never be as happy again”. She added: “He made the biggest impact on my life and gave me enough love and devotion to last my lifetime.”

Rab’s funeral will be held at Kirkcaldy Crematorium on Monday, March 25, at 3pm.