ACADEMIC Dr David Pattison - who has died aged 76 - passed on his love of the language and culture of Spain to his students.

His interests saw him delve into the complexities and quirks of the centuries-old tongue during his almost 40 years as a Tutorial Fellow in Spanish at Magdalen College, Oxford.

Until being restricted by poor health in his later years, Dr Pattison visited Spain every year to conduct research and immerse himself in the country.

Although a dedicated and accomplished researcher and author, he was primarily concerned with teaching young people to exercise their minds and think for themselves.

Born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, on August, 15, 1942, Dr Pattison came to Oxford as a student at Exeter College.

He met wife June Edwards at the university jazz club and they married in 1964 and had two sons together; Mark, born in 1968 and Richard in 1972.

Dr Pattison switched to Magdalen in 1969, following in the footsteps of John Betjeman and he would later become Chairman of the Betjeman Society.

Also a member of the Victorian Society, the Ecclesiological Society, and the Trollope Society, he had a long-standing interest in Victoriana and family holidays were often punctuated by visits to churches.

As well as helping to re-found the Oxford branch of the Betjeman Society, he served as its national chairman from 2008 until 2014 and contributed a piece on the poet's conflicted relationship with Magdalen and particularly with his tutor, C.S. Lewis, to the College publication Floreat in 2009.

A lover of trains, and music, his spiritual homes were the cross-country service from Paris to Spain and Magdalen's chapel, where he attended evensong several nights a week before dining.

During his time with the college Dr Pattison held positions including Junior Dean of Arts, Senior Dean of Arts, and Dean of Degrees.

Colleagues remember his 'raised eyebrows and knowing smile' when someone was being obtuse - not unknown in academic circles - as well as his measured judgement and ability to see through nonsense.

He cared passionately about being part of the historic institution and dedicated himself to his students, ensuring their welfare as much as their studies were looked after.

While retaining his keen interest in the Spanish language, he increasingly became more interested in literary topics during his long career.

He contributed to and edited books on the Spanish epic, the Celestina which were complemented by a steady stream of articles in journals devoted to medieval and Hispanic studies.

He was a committed member of the Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, of which he was honorary treasurer for some years, and of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland, where he was President from 2000-01.

When he was asked to give the president's friend lecture for the association, Rev Dr Colin Thompson said Dr Pattison became very excited when he was told the title would be ‘Cervantes in the land of werewolves’.

'Will you be mentioning my favourite television programme, Buffy the Vampire Slayer?’, Dr Thompson recalls being asked, and he was happy to confirm that indeed, she would be making a cameo appearance.

After retirement in 2005, he remained an integral part of the group of retired Oxford Hispanists which meets once a term, on the same day and at the same time as their younger colleagues are holding their termly meeting and digesting yet another paper from the faculty board.

Dr David Pattison died on Monday, September, 3 after a three year battle with cancer.

He is survived by June, Mark and Richard and grandson, Oliver.