April 26, 1927 – April 30, 2013
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dad. John joined the Royal Navy at age 13, graduating from Dartmouth in 1944 having won the King George VI gold medal. He served on HMS Newcastle and HMS Berwick during WW2. Upon leaving the Royal Navy, John won an Ajax scholarship to McGill where he obtained a first class honours degree in Maths and Physics, assisted in building the first cyclotron in Canada, then graduated in medicine in 1954 winning Gold Medals in Clinical Subjects and in Obstetrics & Gynecology and the J Francis Williams Fellowship in Medicine. He interned at the Montreal General and Shaughnessy Hospitals, finishing his post graduate training at the Toronto General Hospital, passing the FRCP (C) in 1959. John was appointed Instructor in Medicine at UBC in 1960 (full professor 1973) and to the Attending staff of the Vancouver General Hospital. He developed the first dialysis unit in BC (and the second in Canada) in 1964, was involved in developing the kidney transplant programme, which performed the first transplant in BC. In 1967 he was instrumental in developing one of the first centres in the world, allowing patients to treat themselves at home for hemo or peritoneal dialysis. John was a founding member of the Canadian Society of Nephrology, Chair of the Medical Board of the Kidney Foundation of Canada, and Director of the BC Medical Association. He retired to Saltspring Island in 1990 and spent his last years in Victoria and Parksville.
Survived by his first wife Nancy (nee Beattie) and his children: David (Jane Walker, children Emma, Catherine, Susan); Biz; Barbara (Harry McLaughlin and Tianay); Robert (Kristi Rivait, children Gloria and Reid) and Janet (Paul McNeill, children James and Sarah), niece Margaret Backus and nephew Michael Pocock in England and second wife Barbara (Bristol). An avid sailor and fisherman, dad was happiest on the water with full sails, tight lines and a book by his side. He was very proud of his children and we are very proud of him! We love you, dad.
Our family would like to thank the staff of Stanford Place for their care and compassion.
Dad was a strong supporter of the Kidney Foundation of Canada and The Steelhead Society and would welcome donations to either, or your charity of choice. A Memorial service will be held at a later date.