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Sarah Matheson, stalwart of the AA, dies aged 62

Sarah Matheson, who had a long association with the Architectural Association, died on Friday 17 September 1999 after being nursed by her family through a long illness. She was born in September 1937 and brought up in the Scottish borders. Sarah inherited some of the hardy spirit of that country - clear for all to see in her last years as a sufferer of multiple system atrophy. Her sense of humour never failed her, and with characteristic determination she inspired the formation of a trust which provides counselling, support and information about this rare autonomic disorder.

Having worked as Sir Hugh Casson's assistant at the Royal College of Art, Sarah joined the aa in 1972. She soon became registrar of the aa school and held this post for five years after which she went on an extended visit to the usa. When she returned to the uk she became a freelance special- projects consultant to the aa while also working as co-ordinator for the St Mungo Community Housing Association. She was deeply committed to the provision of shelter for homeless persons; she even participated in fund-raising 'sleepouts' - in a cardboard box.

In 1987 Sarah rejoined the full-time staff at the aa, becoming chairman's deputy (admininistration). She was known for her fair-mindedness, wise judgement, professionalism and integrity. When the aa's chief executive, Alvin Boyarsky, died after 19 years in office, Sarah, with great skill, shared the responsibility for the running of the aa during the year which followed, whilst the school 'head-hunted' a new chairman. Those who have been fortunate in knowing Sarah Matheson will remember with profound gratitude what a special person she was.

Tributes in her memory may be made through Autonomic Disorders Association Sarah Matheson Trust, c/o Stonewall Park, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7DG.

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