Andrew Neil Dutney: March 15th 1929 – April 9th 2022

My father died in the early hours of Palm Sunday. The previous day he had been going about his usual routine for a Saturday morning, including walking down the steep driveway to collect the weekend newspaper. It had been raining. Somehow he lost his balance and fell heavily, incurring a severe head injury. He succumbed to this injury some eighteen hours later, without regaining consciousness.

Many of us – his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren – were fortunate enough to have spent time with him in the weeks preceding his death, and our memories are of a vigorous (though frail), interested, engaged, elderly patriarch of a large, loving family, enjoying his life and each day as it came.

Being the well-organised man that he was, Dad had written a memoir in the months after Mum died, in August 2018. You can read the story of his remarkable life and some tributes below.

Dad (a lifelong Liberal voter) concluded his memoir with a story about Mary Easson, a politician who served a term as a Labor member in the last Keating government. In 2009 she suffered a serious illness, spending 70 days in intensive care and six months in hospital. To cope with this protracted recovery she gave herself a sense of purpose outside of herself. The journalist Greg Sheridan recalls that she said to him, “‘I tried to say to myself: If anyone comes into my room today – be it a cleaner or a nurse or anyone – I will try to make their day better. You can feel sorry for yourself. I find if I get to the point of saying: How can I help others? I cope better myself and it’s what God requires of you anyway.’ Then Mary looked straight at me and said: ‘What is required from you, man, is simply this – act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.’ [Micah 6:8]” Dad then concluded with the comment, “I think that is comforting for anyone seeking to serve God, but whose age or state of health limits what they can do.”

Beyond a piece of very wise advice, that passage is also an elegant summary of the life and character of Neil Dutney. He acted justly, He loved tenderly. And he walked humbly with his God throughout his long and fruitful life.

You can view the video of Dad’s funeral service here:

Greg Vickery’s tribute


  1. Dear Andrew,

    Sincere condolences on the passing of your dad.

    Having to say goodbye and send condolences is never easy, and we recently lost some good friends and family members, including my last living uncle, who died aged 96. Luckily we could follow the funeral service via the internet.

    Thanks very much for sharing your story.

    Kind regards,

    John van den Berg,

    Kardinya Uniting Church WA.

  2. Dear Andrew, Thinking of you and your family on the loss of your much loved father. You (and he) have all remembered him well. He has left a fine legacy of acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.

  3. Dear Andrew,
    We send our condolences in the passing of your Father.
    He was a wonderful man, and his legacy will sustain you in the days and weeks ahead as you grieve his death.
    Sincerely, Isobel Jim Bishop and family

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