Dr Morley Sutter, 1933–2021

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 65, No. 5, June 2023, Page 182 Obituaries

Dr Morley Sutter

When Dr Morley Sutter was a young lad, he occasionally complained about having to complete his assigned chores. His wise father would muse that “the only thing we really have to do is die.” Although this advice did not deter Morley from an enviable lifelong work ethic, he did complete this ultimate task peacefully early in the morning of 19 December 2021 in Vancouver. The world lost a gentle, kind man.

Born on his family’s farm near Redvers, Saskatchewan, in 1933 to Christian and Amelia Sutter, Morley spent his early years on the farm, then moved into town in his teen years. He attended the University of Manitoba, graduating from medicine in 1957 and attaining a PhD in pharmacology in 1963. After postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, Morley became a professor in pharmacology, first for 1 year at the University of Toronto, then in the UBC Faculty of Medicine for 32 years. He retired as professor emeritus in 1998.

Morley met and married his love Virginia Laidlaw in 1957, and for 45 years they had many adventures together, often with their children. This included living and working in England, Sweden, and Australia, along with travels to Jamaica and Hong Kong. After the death of Virginia, Morley enjoyed the companionship of Connie Moore.

Morley was a humble man who put people at ease and a loyal, staunch friend and confidant. He was an intellect who loved to find evidence to support theories. Whether in the laboratory or discussing ideas, Morley was always quick-witted. He was a mentor for many graduate students, medical students, and others.

Music, especially jazz, was an important part of Morley’s life. He sang in the medical school choir, and he cut quite the figure on the dance floor. In his later years Morley would often sing to the staff who walked with him on his daily walks.

As a younger man Morley was a keen baseball and tennis player and was even known to throw a few curling rocks. In later years Morley loved to watch these sports on TV. He was involved with all his children’s sporting events, including umpiring and coaching baseball.

Morley will be lovingly remembered by his sons, Greg and Brent; daughter, Michelle; daughters-in-law, Michele and Teresa; son-in-law, Bill; and grandchildren, Gregory, Anson, and Amelia.

The family extends heartfelt thanks to staff at South Granville Park Lodge for their outstanding care of Morley over the past several years.
—Michelle Sutter
Thetis Island, BC


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F. Michelle Sutter, MD, FRCSC. Dr Morley Sutter, 1933–2021. BCMJ, Vol. 65, No. 5, June, 2023, Page(s) 182 - Obituaries.

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