Dr John Daniel Garry had an exciting and rewarding life and career that spanned the world. Dad was born in Kildysart, County Clare, Ireland, on 7 June 1936. He was influenced by the many physicians in his family to study medicine, and he completed his medical studies in 1961 in Dublin at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
Not being afraid of challenges, he joined the British Army at the height of the Cold War as a physician. He was initially posted to Australia and the Maralinga Nuclear Testing Facility in South Australia. He met his wife, Julie, in Sydney and they were married at Westminster Cathedral, London, UK, in 1964. He was then posted to the divided city of Berlin, deep inside East Germany. In Berlin, Dad welcomed the birth of a baby girl and boy. The experience of living in Berlin for those years initiated Dad’s love of Germany, its history, people, and culture.
In 1968, John and his family came to Canada, where he would serve as a public health physician starting in Prince George, next in Vancouver, where he obtained his FRCPC at UBC, and then to Kamloops. Harvard University and the United States then beckoned, and he completed a graduate degree in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
John’s public health career continued in Vancouver and Richmond. He had a strong sense of public duty and continued his military interest as a physician in the Canadian Army Reserve Force, becoming the commanding officer of the 12th Vancouver Medical Company.
John’s life was very blessed and he enjoyed many adventures and pursuits. He was an avid golfer his entire life. He and Julie traveled often to Germany, elsewhere in Europe, and to Australia to visit family and friends.
Dad declined over the last year of his life. However, he welcomed his granddaughter, Elise, in January 2017. Elise and Dad formed a unique bond and enjoyed each other’s company immensely.
Our adventures with Dad have ended; however, this is just temporary. Mom, Alice, and I can’t wait to continue the journey with him and join him in the future in everlasting life together.
—Benedict M. Garry, MD, CCFP
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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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