Dr John Ashburnham Pratt-Johnson, 1929–2015

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 57, No. 9, November 2015, Pages 412-413 Obituaries

portrait of the late Dr. Pratt-Johnson
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr John Pratt-Johnson, who passed peacefully in the comfort of his own home on 9 September 2015 with his beloved wife, Mae, at his side. Dr Pratt-Johnson is survived by his sons, Brian (Diana) and Doug (Madeleine); his granddaughters, Lucy, Asha, Meg, Heather, Elyse, Chanelle, and Marine; his stepdaughters, Teresa (Matt) and Erin (Mike); his stepdaughter-in-law, Patti; and his step-grandchildren, Olivia, Hannah, Jordan, Ellen, Rebecca, Sam, and Max. Dr Pratt-Johnson was predeceased by his parents, John and Madge; his twin sisters, Betty and Jean; his former wife, Betty; and his stepson, Paul.

Dr Pratt-Johnson was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he received his early education. After qualifying in medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1951 he completed his postgraduate residency in ophthalmology in London, England, in 1955, and obtained his FRCS in Edinburgh the same year. John completed fellowships at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University in 1956 and at Stanford University in 1957. During this time he met and married Betty (Stimson). After practising medicine for 2 years in Jamaica, where his two sons were born, John and his family immigrated to Vancouver in 1961. John married Mae Runions in 2001.

Dr Pratt-Johnson served as professor and head of the Department of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus at the University of British Columbia from 1967 to 1992. During this time he also held positions as president of the International Strabismological Association, president of the American Association of Ophthalmology and Strabismus, founding member of the Canadian Orthoptic Society, president of the Canadian Orthoptic Council, and member of the American Orthoptic Council. He was also an examiner in ophthalmology for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Dr Pratt-Johnson published prolifically and received many honors. He was coauthor of a textbook on strabismus and amblyopia, first published in English and translated into Italian and Chinese, and he was invited to speak on pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus to countries around the world.

Dr Pratt-Johnson also volunteered his services in many developing countries. In 1992 he founded the Pratt-Johnson Foundation. He endowed a yearly fellowship to train a pediatric ophthalmologist from a developing country at the University of British Columbia. 

In 2002 he became an honorary member of the Nepal Ophthalmic Society for outstanding contributions to eye care services in Nepal.

Dr Pratt-Johnson was Canadian National Tennis Champion 1992 (men’s doubles) and also Vancouver International Tennis Tournament Champion 2004 (men’s singles over 75 years). He was devoted to his community, his church, his profession and, most of all, his family. He traveled extensively and was a great adventurer. A memorial service was conducted on 19 September at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church in Vancouver. Memorial donations may be made to SEVA Canada or to the Pratt-Johnson Healing Fund at St. Andrew’s-Wesley Church.
—Doug Pratt-Johnson

Doug Pratt-Johnson,. Dr John Ashburnham Pratt-Johnson, 1929–2015. BCMJ, Vol. 57, No. 9, November, 2015, Page(s) 412-413 - Obituaries.

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