Dr E. John Wilford was born in Cheng-du, China, where his parents Edward Corry Wilford (surgeon) and Claudia (musician) were missionaries. Before he left China at age 15, John became proficient in English, French, and Mandarin. He finished high school in Toronto and attended the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto where he met his bride to be, Agatha Tate.
John and Agatha were married on 22 December 1945 and interned at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. With the rest of their medical school class, they became officers in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps during the Second World War and were discharged in September 1946. They moved to Chilliwack and set up a busy general practice. Dr Wilford maintained his practice until 1987. He continued to do locum work in Chilliwack until he was 80.
Dr Wilford was active for many years with the then-BCMA. He also committed much time to his community through Rotary, the United Church (choir and scouting), and barber shop quartets.
Never resisting a chance to be with family and friends, John was loved by many. He had a positive outlook, always a humorous quip, and seemed able to talk with anyone about anything.
For the 12 years following Agatha’s stroke until she passed away in January 2014, John was by her side. Five months after Agatha’s death, John suffered a stroke and, after a few days, passed away—sharp until the end, he maintained his sense of humor. He was a loving and generous husband and father, good friend to many, a respected doctor, and a role model to us all.
John was predeceased by Agatha (his wife of 68 years), his parents, two sisters, and grandson, Johnny Wilford. He is survived by his four children, seven grandchildren, one step-grandson, and two great-grandchildren.
—Ted Wilford, MD
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Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
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