Dr John Crosby was born in Nuneaton, England, and attended medical school at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, graduating in 1961. Following house surgeon positions in London and Leister, and a period of time as an anatomy lecturer, John came to Canada, where he spent some happy years as a full-service family physician on the Sunshine Coast in Gibsons. He did additional training in anesthesia at Vancouver General Hospital and achieved his Royal College Fellowship in Anesthesia in 1974.
John worked at St. Paul’s Hospital until 1977, then moved to a position at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. He had a long and fruitful career there as a general anesthesiologist and, midway through his career, an interest in chronic pain led him to co-found the Diagnostic and Therapeutic Nerve Block Clinic at Royal Columbian and Eagle Ridge hospitals.
During his career he held the title of clinical associate professor of medicine in anesthesia at UBC, served the community as head of the Department of Anesthesia at Royal Columbian Hospital from 1984–86, sat on the executive of the BC Anesthesiologists’ Society from 1982–87 (including as chair from 1984–86), was a member of council of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society from 1983–86, and served as a member of the Standards Committee from 1985–87. John retired from anesthesia practice in 1997 but continued treating patients with chronic pain until 2002. He was consistently described by his patients and colleagues as a gentleman, a dedicated physician, and a great mentor.
John was also very musically talented, writing and performing music often in the form of skits. He was a dedicated member of the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir for 28 years, serving on the music committee as well as arranging music that the choir still sings to this day. When not in song or “passing gas,” John could be found in his garden getting incredible satisfaction from each flower and plant while raging against each weed and slug. He loved spending time with friends and family, whether it was on the tennis court or golf course, gathered around a piano, in raucous debate, or sharing a naughty joke, always with a twinkle in his bright blue eyes.
He is survived by his wife, Marijke; his two daughters, Mariette White (Ed) and Michelle Crosby (Joel Bridle); and four grandchildren.
—R. L. Moore, MD, FRCPC
—Richard Merchant, MD, FRCPC
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