Dr Angus Rae, 1929–2020

Dr Angus Rae

Dr Angus Ian Rae passed away peacefully on 9 July 2020, in Victoria, British Columbia, at the age of 91. Angus’s enthusiasm for life, enquiring mind, wicked sense of humor, and interest in everyone he met were the defining characteristics of his personality.  

Angus was born in London, England, on 7 May 1929, the first child of Blodwen Rae (née Williams), a nurse, and Lawrence John Rae, a radiologist. He grew up in Surrey, England, with his siblings, John, Bobbi, and Suzi. Because of bombing raids during World War II, he and his brother were sent to school in North Devon and later to Bishop’s Stortford College in Hertfordshire, where he excelled at water polo, rugby, and short-distance running. In 1948 he enrolled in the London Hospital Medical School, and in 1953, he qualified MBBS. 

After junior posts in several London hospitals, Angus completed his compulsory 2 years of national service as a first lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps with the 17th Gurkha Infantry Division in Malaya (now Malaysia). On returning to Britain in 1956, he was recalled in October of that year during the Suez Crisis to care for war casualties—those who were transported to the aircraft carrier HMS Theseus, moored off Port Said, Egypt. Following this assignment, he returned again to England and did further medical training to qualify as a consultant in the Royal College of Physicians (London), specializing in nephrology.

In 1965, Angus took a research posting in San Francisco. He later worked in Seattle, and then took a position in a hospital run by the Sisters of Providence in Spokane. In 1968, the Sisters of Providence recruited him to set up and run a renal unit at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. 

Angus was instrumental in setting up the first program in the province to have patients perform their own hemodialysis at home. With nurses, technologists, and other members of the team, he ran the renal unit for 7 years before taking on his first partner, Dr Clifford Chan-Yan. When Angus retired from St. Paul’s Hospital in 1994, the partnership had expanded to seven physicians. Throughout his years in practice in Vancouver, Angus also provided a consulting service to Yukon by visiting Whitehorse every 3 months. He held his last clinic in Whitehorse in 2007. One of the hallmarks of Angus’s medical practice was his bedside manner, focusing on patients as individuals, each with their own fascinating life experiences.

Shortly after Angus arrived in Canada, he met and married Dr Ann Skidmore, and they had two daughters, Rowena and Elspeth. Family life included swimming, hiking, bicycling on the Gulf Islands, picking blackberries, and traveling frequently to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands where Angus and Ann owned a holiday home. Angus also maintained close ties to England, visiting his family and friends annually. 

In retirement, Angus pursued several passions: learning to speak Spanish, traveling extensively with Ann, and helping to form the University Clinical Faculty Association in 1998 (now the Doctors of BC Section of Clinical Faculty). He believed passionately in equal partnership between academic researchers and clinical physicians in training the next generation of physicians. His retirement was enriched by the arrival of five grandchildren, Melissa, Luke, Genevieve, Tristan, and Madeleine, whom he entertained with his playful antics and mischievous humor. 

Angus spent the last 7 years of his life in Victoria with Ann, enjoying frequent visits with his daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren, and one remaining sibling, Suzi.
—Ann Skidmore, MBChB, FRCPC
—Rowena Rae, MA, PhD
—Elspeth Rae, BSc, BEd

Ann Skidmore, MBChB, FRCPC, Rowena Rae, MA, PhD, Elspeth Rae, BSc, BEd. Dr Angus Rae, 1929–2020. BCMJ, Vol. 62, No. 7, September, 2020, Page(s) 252 - Obituaries.

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Kate Stewart says: reply

Dr Rae was my very favourite physician that I had the pleasure of working with at the St. Paul’s renal unit in the 80’s and early 90’s .
He left an incredible impact on so many patients and staff .
Fly free Angus ❤️

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