Rae Short


YOU were never stuck if you were with Rae. She not only saw the way, she had the skills to make things happen and the courageous, optimistic attitude which says ‘everything is possible’ and makes others achieve it too, yet she had had great sadness in her life.

Her husband Jim was killed by a train at a level crossing in 1969 and in 1977 her son Dougie, who was 18 and in the Merchant Navy, died in a tragic accident in Rotterdam.

Rae worked hard all her life. Besides her job she did voluntary work with adults with learning difficulties at the Edrom Occupational Centre. She brought up five children, Pam, Libby, Bruce, Dougie and Judy in her house at Gavinton and she cared for her mother-in-law and her own mother until their deaths.

Now death has taken her after nine long years of the illness which overtook her when she had scarcely laid her mother to rest and had at last retired after a busy working life.

Pam devoted every weekend along the way to her mother on her last journey.

Rachel Hunter - Rae Short, was born in Ayton in 1930 and was brought up at Cumledge Mill. She had a sister, Janis, 16 years her junior. Her mother’s mother, Rachel Anderson, after whom she was called, taught her to sew, crochet and knit which stood Rae - and her family - in good stead as she was rarely found without something on the needles.

Her grandmother also taught her to cook which led Rae on to Atholl Crescent in Edinburgh and a training in institutional management and thereafter to a career in hotels, particularly with Scottish and Newcastle (they would put her in to bring failing businesses back up to scratch) and finally to the public part of the Sue Ryder Home at Marchmont where she catered for a huge list of events and weddings.

She never seemed to turn a hair when things appeared to be going wrong - it was because of her they didn’t.

Rae and Jim, who was an agricultural engineer at Clockmill, married in 1951 and lived in the family house in Gavinton. Eventually she moved to a smaller house in Duns, at first accompanied by her mother.

Rae loved her work. She loved travelling - America, the West Indies, Europe, Australia.

She loved her family - Pam in Duns, Libby and Bruce in Australia, Judy in Spain, Dougie, beside whom she is buried, her grandchildren Leigh and Jordon and the three little great granddaughters on whom she would have doted.

She was very much loved - a dear generous and courageous woman, a remarkable woman.