With great sadness, we announce the passing of Dr Archie Young on 13 November 2021, in Chilliwack.
Archie was born on a farm in Keir Village, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, in 1926, the sixth of eight children of John Young, a dairy farmer, and his wife Mary, a schoolteacher.
When Archie was three, the family, along with a herd of 24 Ayrshire dairy cows and one bull, immigrated to Vancouver, where John was to manage the farm on the new Point Grey campus of the University of British Columbia. Two years later, the world economic crash forced massive cuts to the university’s budget, and John’s job was terminated. However, John convinced the university to let him run the farm as a working farm, and with a concession to deliver milk on the University Endowment Lands, the family made a life there for 20 years. When his older brothers left to fight in World War II, 14-year-old Archie rose each day at 5:30 a.m. to deliver milk and then rushed off to University Hill School, where he was known to fall asleep in class. Until the end of his life, he would reminisce fondly about growing up on the farm at UBC.
Archie received a Bachelor of Science degree from UBC in 1947, and later that year he began medical school at McGill University after a 5-day bus ride from Vancouver to Montreal. He interned at Montreal General Hospital, and it was there, while laid up in hospital for a short time, he was cared for by a young nurse, Beatrice Clarke. They were married on Boxing Day 1951 and soon moved to Vancouver, where Archie did a year of postgraduate training at Shaughnessy Hospital. In 1953 he began general practice in Hope, BC, as one of only two doctors in the town, later moving down the road to Chilliwack. In 1962, to his eternal gratification, Archie partnered in his medical practice with his younger brother Drew, and they practised in the same clinic together until Archie’s retirement in 1997.
To fully describe and do justice to Archie’s professional life in this space is simply not possible. He was a beloved family doctor for the community of Chilliwack for 45 years. With a strong foundation of training, an enquiring mind, a humble demeanor, and a caring and understanding nature, Archie possessed a full breadth of tools that made for an exemplary medical career. His memory for events throughout his career (and life) was tremendous. As a strong patient advocate, he could put patients at ease and make them feel better with just a visit, no matter what their ailment was. Archie’s outstanding community service of 45 years of medical practice was recognized by the Canadian Medical Association with a Senior Membership Award in 1996.
Archie is survived by his four children, Doug (Leonie), Claire (Tom), Stuart (Cynthia), and Ross (Tannis); seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and his youngest sister, Jean Smith.
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