Jan Whitten at work
Jan at work, Sainsbury's era.

Dear RSPH Team

My sister and I would like to let you know that our lovely mum, Jan Whitten FRSPH, who passed away last year left a £1000 donation in her will to RSPH.

Jan was a long-standing Fellow of the RSPH. A talented artist and biologist, she authored and illustrated several publications in microbiology and food science. She started work in the labs of Sainsbury’s, working up to Head of Bacteriology at Kent-Jones & Amos, followed by a research position at the Barclay-Perkins brewery. I remember her telling us with glee that she used to keep Bacillus anthracis in the lab fridge!

Even after stepping away from her career to raise her children, she continued to conduct and publish high quality research from our farmhouse kitchen. She maintained a keen interest in public health and read Perspectives in Public Health right up until a few weeks before she died, and she was a respected and trusted authority on science-related issues in her community. She was a Fellow of London Zoo, an illustrator and surrealist painter, published local historian, a passionate advocate of animal welfare, and even a fashion model! Most of all she was a wonderful mother, and we miss her dreadfully.

We know you will do marvellous and important things with her gift. She did not specify a particular aspect of your work to support, but we feel activities related to bacteriology or water quality would be most appropriate – if that is possible.

With best wishes,

Helen Whitten and Miranda Walker
Daughters and Executors for Mrs Beryl (Jan) Whitten DipBact, FRSPH

As she requested in her will, we are holding a special webinar on Waterborne pathogens of concern in a public health environment in May 2022.