John Dueck graduated in medicine from UBC in 1962. After interning at VGH he spent the next 3 years working at a leprosy hospital in India. On returning to Canada he trained in general surgery at VGH and then practised his whole career in the upper Fraser Valley.
As a surgeon he had all the qualities that were needed—he was committed, untiring, meticulous, and compassionate. He was a careful diagnostician and an extremely competent and dextrous technician, but most of all he always focused on what was best for the patient.
He has left behind much to mark his surgical passage, as he was a lifelong learner and kept up-to-date in his continuous quest for knowledge. His contributions in improving patient care in the community include introducing vascular surgery, as well as laparoscopy, colonoscopy, and stapling.
He loved his chosen work, which he pursued with great industry. He will be remembered as someone who never gave less than his best to anything with which he was involved.
He had an inflexible sense of fairness, and when he was aroused and angered by what he considered unreasonable behavior, this quiet, kind doctor transformed into a formidable defender of right and justice.
His judgment about what to do and what not to do was extraordinarily sound, and his capable and professional approach made him a much respected and admired surgeon by patients and colleagues alike. He left a memory of service as an inspiration for us all.
Tragically his career was interrupted by a long and disabling chronic illness. Predictably he faced this affliction with strength, courage, and dignity. He never lost the simple faith of his childhood and this faith sufficed him.
His family will remember him for his unconditional love, inner strength, and wisdom, providing them with both roots and wings.
He leaves to mourn his wife of 49 years, Winnifred; three children, Michele (Dr Brian Driediger), Sharon (Gary Simpson), Dr Brad Dueck (Kirsti); and 11 grandchildren.
—Henry Pauls, MD
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