Long ago Brooklyn Dodger manager Leo Durocher said that “nice guys finish last.” But then, Leo the Lip never met Dr Bob Young, the remarkable Victoria family doctor who time and again showed that nice guys can, and do, finish first.
Dr Bob Young died peacefully in his sleep with Pat, his wife of 54 years, at his side. Bob was 80. Eighty years of touching and influencing the lives of thousands of people, in his medical practice in Oak Bay for 40 years and though his exceptional 20 years representing Victoria on the Board of Directors of the BC Medical Association.
Bob attended Oak Bay High School and graduated from the UBC School of Medicine in 1956.
Dr Bob, as he became known through the 1150 Info/Health columns he wrote for newspapers across the province as part of the BCMA’s reach-out public relations program, was a shy, unassuming man, and in his Special Feature article in the June 2010 BC Medical Journal he recounted how being involved in his professional association changed and broadened his life.
Bob’s 20 years of contributing to the BCMA included chairing the Communications Committee, and one of his first ideas was to modernize the BCMA logo. He sparked successful BCMA campaigns that altered the lives of every British Columbian—laws for car seatbelts, infant car seats, and bike helmets—and his quiet and determined leadership led to the establishment of the first non-smoking sections in restaurants. He also took on the politically sensitive editorship of the BCMA tabloid BCMA News.
It is no surprise that Dr Bob Young was the first recipient of the David Bachop Gold Medal, 20 years ago, and that as recently as early this year the University of Victoria honored him as the first recipient of its Distinguished Alumni Division of Medical Sciences Award, citing his exemplary activities with the BCMA’s public interest activities.
Bob’s questioning mind led him to many interests, including sailing, boat building, woodwork, gardening, music, and what he liked to call “a game resembling golf.” Bob and Pat were avid sailors, and with their children sailed to Alaska and the west coast of the Haida Gwaii.
In addition to Pat, Bob is survived by sons Michael (Sandy) and Bruce (Kimberley), daughters Debbie (Peter) and Teri (Pablo), as well as his sister Irene Harris (Peter).
Friends and admirers can donate to the Dr Robert N. Young and Mrs Patricia Young Scholarship Fund (c/o Dr O.G. Casiro, Island Medical Program, University of Victoria, PO Box 1700, Stn CSC, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2), or the Victoria Boys and Girls Club, 1240 Yates St. Victoria, BC V8V 3N3.
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