Claude Henry Cronhelm died at age 73 in December 2007 of metastatic malignant melanoma.
Claude was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and graduated in medicine from Queen’s University, Belfast. In 1959 he immigrated to St. John’s, Newfoundland, where he served his surgical internship and then worked in the Newfoundland Cottage Hospital System. While there he met and married Sandra. In 1963, upon completion of his OB/GYN residency at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, he received his FRCSC and moved to Vancouver.
Claude first joined the Seymour Clinic. He then entered into partnership with Drs Bill Bie, Ken Nickerson, and later Gary Romalis. When the partnership dissolved after 31 years, Claude joined Dr Henry Woo in practice. Claude was on the active staff of the Vancouver General Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital and was a highly regarded clinical teacher.
Claude was a man of many interests, including ham radio, sailing, computers, gardening, photography, and genealogy, while always running a very active clinical practice.
One of the highlights of his life was the year 1976–1977 when he took off to sail with Sandra and their young family to Fiji. In Fiji he worked in the OB/GYN department at the Suva Hospital and taught the medical students.
Upon moving to Langley, Claude enjoyed working in his garden and redesigning his large property. He continued to commute to Vancouver and work in his practice until his late sixties, when he slowed down and worked part-time in the profession he loved.
He was highly regarded as a clear thinking and speaking person with great judgment and highly developed surgical and obstetrical skills. He could always be counted on to speak frankly whether at medical rounds or at social occasions.
He took great pride in his family and their accomplishments and will be deeply missed by Sandra, his wife of 44 years, children Peter, Julie, and Jackie, five grandchildren, brother John and sister Jane, and his many colleagues and friends. He died the way he lived, with courage and dignity, surrounded by loving family and friends.
—Garson Romalis, MD
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