Hector passed away peacefully and with quiet dignity in March with his loving extended family at his side.
At the age of 14, while in his first year of studies at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Hector decided that he wanted to change from the general arts program to medicine to study to become a doctor. Discussions with the dean of medicine led to his acceptance into the program just as he turned 15 years of age—provided that he pick up all the information of the first term, while keeping up with the ongoing lectures for the balance of the year. He was also to rank in the top half of his class. He had to study all the science courses, which he had never done before, as well as learn Latin and German. He finished the first year of medical studies in the top 10% of his class and went on to receive his doctorate of medicine at the age of 22. Prior to the Second World War, Hector became the doctor for the gold mining community of God’s Lake, Manitoba.
As the war broke out, he joined the Canadian Medical Corps as an officer. He served overseas in Scotland, England, North Africa, Italy, France, and the Netherlands. On his return to Canada, he studied for a year to become a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.
In 1948, he joined the Knox Clinic as their first qualified surgeon. Always conscious of the growing need for better and more medical facilities in Kelowna, Hector dedicated himself to this end, spending countless hours working to improve services to the community.
He was honored with a life membership in the Canadian Medical Association and the British Columbia Medical Association, and spent a term as president of the Kelowna medical staff.
His participation in the armed services of Canada continued when he arrived in Kelowna, as he was appointed the medical officer for the British Columbia Dragoons, a position he held for many years until retirement with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He also was a supporting member of the Royal Canadian Legion—Branch #26 (Kelowna)—for well over 50 years. Hec was also a charter-founding member of the Kiwanis Club of Kelowna. He was a member of the Kelowna Club, the Kelowna Golf and Country Club, and the Kelowna Curling Club. He had a great passion for the game of curling and enjoyed sharing this game with his blind friend, Percy Perkins, who played lead for his rink for many years.
Hector was predeceased by his first wife, Sarah Bell (Sally), in 1963, after 25 years of marriage. He is survived by Bernice (Byrdie), his loving wife of 40 years, and his children: Brian (Patricia) of Kelowna, Sharon (Mike Roberts) of Victoria, Susan Brayton of Abbotsford, and Bill (Carmen Rawlings) of Delta.
He is survived by 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Hector loved everyone and was loved by everyone; he never had a bad word to say about anyone. He was a true gentleman with a wonderful sense of humor that stayed with him until he passed into the hands of his Lord and Savior. He truly had a marvelous lifetime and the day before he passed, he commented that he was so pleased with the kindness and help he was receiving from the nurses and doctors at Kelowna General Hospital.
—Cliff Henderson, MD
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