Dr Kathleen Wilson (Johnston), 1948–2017

Dr Kathleen Wilson (Johnston)

Dr Katie Wilson died on 13 November 2017, having been diagnosed 8 months earlier with acute myeloid leukemia.

Katie was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1948. Her father was a farmer and her mother a nurse. After starting her schooling in a one-room school close to the family farm, she enrolled at the Rainey Endowed School in the nearest town, Magherafelt. She excelled at school and in her final year was made head girl, played field hockey for the first 11, and was leading lady in the school opera. Katie entered the Faculty of Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast in 1967. She took full advantage of university life, again playing field hockey and singing in the prestigious Royal Victoria Hospital Choir. Katie graduated in 1973 and began a junior house officer’s job in Craigavon Hospital. It was quite a year, as this was at the height of the “troubles” in Northern Ireland, and Craigavon was situated at the head of an area known locally as Murder Triangle. The hospital was continually filling up with gunshot-wound and bomb-blast victims, which made for a unique and challenging training experience.

Katie and her husband Billy moved to Winnipeg in 1975. This was in no small measure due to the allure of a more peaceful life in Canada. In Winnipeg she worked in general practice at “Klinic with a K” serving the downtown core area of the city. During that time she had her first son, Samuel. In 1979, Katie moved with her family to Chilliwack, BC, and soon after she gave birth to her second son, Edward. Katie then took a 4-year leave from her medical practice to get her young family on a solid footing. When she returned to general practice she noticed a dearth of services in the community for the frail elderly. She therefore enrolled in a fellowship in geriatrics at the University of British Columbia, following which she returned to Chilliwack, where she became the de facto geriatrician for the upper Fraser Valley area of the province. For many years Katie gave of herself unsparingly to the elderly of the area. In 2008, she received with pride the Above and Beyond Award from the Fraser Valley Health Region. She was also proud of Netcare, a multidisciplinary day-care centre for the elderly that she helped to establish.

Katie retired in 2014 and enjoyed spending her time with her four grandchildren, gardening, cooking, traveling, and relaxing at her cottage on Savary Island.

She will be sorely missed by family, friends, and former colleagues and patients.

William G. Johnston, MB, FRCS. Dr Kathleen Wilson (Johnston), 1948–2017. BCMJ, Vol. 60, No. 6, July, August, 2018, Page(s) 323 - Obituaries.

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