Ivan died peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones—his wife, Patricia; his daughters, Jenny Spring (Jim) and Linda Szasz (Craig); and his grandsons, Marcel and Garnet—and with a feeling of gratefulness for the full life he enjoyed.
Ivan was born in Budapest, Hungary. He started medical training in Budapest, and with the outbreak of the 1956 revolution, he escaped to London, England, where he worked at Middlesex Hospital stoking a coal furnace and learning enough English to resume his studies. Upon graduating from medical school, Ivan immigrated to Canada, where he worked at Ottawa Civic Hospital. He eventually moved to BC to become a surgeon in Trail (where he also coached the Trail-Rossland Stingrays Summer Swim Club).
In the 1980s he turned his interest to nuclear medicine, completing a fellowship in Vancouver in 1985. He published extensively in this evolving field; taught brain imaging, traveling to the University of Mendoza in Argentina as an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visiting professor in brain imaging in 1998; was named a technical expert by the IAEA; and served on the Laboratory Accreditation Committee for Nuclear Medicine. He was a proud member of Doctors of BC and acted as guest editor for the December 1987 issue of BC Medical Journal. In 2012, he was awarded the CMA Senior Member Award.
Ivan loved working as a physician but, in his heart, he was a Renaissance man with many other passions and an immense interest in the world around him. He loved to read, go to the movies, travel, and eat. A handyman extraordinaire, he would have been just as happy to be a carpenter. And he loved swimming. Ivan played water polo in Hungary and was part of the UBC Masters Swim Club (where I met him). Ivan was the king of the butterfly; he was the FINA national champion in the 100 m fly in 2011 and 2016 and the 200 m fly in 2011. Ivan loved to compete and to help others compete—my family members would advise me to not race Ivan as he was always up for the competition. He made close friends in the swim world.
Ivan will be dearly missed by all those whose lives he touched.
—Bill Mackie, MD