Dr Frank Thornton Murdoch, 1934–2017

After a long and successful life, Dr Frank Thornton Murdoch died on 9 January 2017.

After a long and successful life, Dr Frank Thornton Murdoch died on 9 January 2017. The original Murdoch family moved to Hagersville, Ontario, in 1930, where Frank attended elementary and secondary school. He later enrolled at the University of Western Ontario. There he met his future wife, nurse Elizabeth Johnston. Upon graduating in 1959 he interned at St. Joseph’s in London, Ontario.

Dr Murdoch practised general medicine in Hagersville for 2 years, and then decided to specialize in physiatry. Studies took him to Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Mobility for all ages was not then in the medical curriculum. Dr Murdoch changed all that by establishing a physical occupational therapy department and a rehabilitation department at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. He brought physical therapy to the mainstream. 

Dr Murdoch also thrived on medical politics, serving as president of the medical staff at Royal Inland Hospital. He found it enlightening to listen to the scuttlebutt in the surgical lounge.

Drawn to the lakes and streams in the Interior of BC, the Murdoch family made their home in Kamloops, fishing in summer and skiing in winter. One of Frank’s greatest pleasures was skiing on virgin snow on New Year’s Day.

A beekeeper for many years, Frank happily shared his wonderful product with friends, but less happily with bears. And he loved the outdoors, also sharing a good story or prank with friends. He loved to duck hunt in the coolies and sloughs in Alberta with his dogs. He was a voracious reader of almost everything from the military to dogs and science, old and new. He believed strongly in education.

Dr Murdoch was a champion of the underdog, especially when it involved the government. He lived a productive and fulfilling life, and he will be missed by the medical community, the many groups to which he belonged, and by his loving family.

Dr Murdoch is son of George and Glenna Murdoch, and brother of Joy. He was predeceased by his parents and sister, and is survived by his wife of 59 years; their children, Susan (Glen Davis), Jane (Tim Miller), Sarah (Gordon Black), and Hugh (Rena). Dr Murdoch will also be remembered by his grandchildren Cameron and Darcy Black, and Allison and Risa Murdoch.
—Don Paterson, MD
Sorrento, BC
—Ken Kolkind, MD
Salmon Arm

Don Paterson, MD, Ken Kolkind, MD. Dr Frank Thornton Murdoch, 1934–2017. BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 6, July, August, 2017, Page(s) 321 - Obituaries.

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