Dr Pat Miki, in his 93rd year, passed away peacefully at home on 16 August 2023, surrounded by his loving wife of 50 years, Diane, and his family.
Following graduation in medicine from the University of Manitoba in 1955, Pat entered residency in radiology at Vancouver General Hospital, completing his training in 1959. Later that year he joined the radiology practice of Dr Henry Brown in Chilliwack. In those early years, they provided radiology services to the small rural communities and cottage hospitals of the Fraser Valley, from Langley to Chilliwack. Following the departure of Dr Brown several years later, the practice became Dr Miki and Associates, and eventually Valley Medical Imaging. Pat was the senior partner in the practice for much of his 45-year career as a radiologist and was instrumental in overseeing and guiding the practice through enormous growth, including technological advances in imaging, several new and expanded hospitals, and a rapidly growing population in the Fraser Valley.
At occasions such as retirements, Pat could often be coaxed into entertaining the gathering with stories of his early days in practice. His description of the hours he spent driving on country roads between cottage hospitals to do small numbers of studies always fascinated newly graduated radiologists and technologists. He often wore light-adapting goggles while driving so that time wouldn’t be wasted at the next site waiting for his eyes to adjust to the low-light conditions for fluoroscopy equipment of that era. So much has changed in such a short time.
Pat had an inquisitive nature and enjoyed and embraced the technological challenges that accompanied the growth in the practice. He was an early adopter of computers in the practice and at home. When a new issue was presented to the partnership for discussion, you could be sure he had done his homework and came prepared to discuss things in detail. His advice was always worth listening to.
Pat remained loyal to his roots. He was born and raised on a farm on the western border of Matsqui, the eldest of three children. Until grade 6 he attended classes in a two-room school in Bradner. As the family was of Japanese descent, at the outbreak of World War II, their farm was confiscated and the family was relocated to a sugar-beet farm in Dufrost, Manitoba. Following Pat’s completion of high school and medical school in Manitoba, the family returned to the Fraser Valley, where Pat practised his entire career.
Pat was one of the kindest and most humble, caring, and thoughtful individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. His daughters, Kathy, Laureen, and Nancy, describe him as the epitome of the eldest Japanese son—he was a loving patriarch, his family was the primary focus of his life, and he was always putting the needs of others above his own. In his professional life, as the senior partner in what became a large radiology practice, he led by example. Everyone he worked with, no matter their position or seniority, was treated with the same respect and kindness. Pat and Diane’s summer and Christmas social gatherings for staff and spouses at their home were always well-attended affairs where everyone was made to feel like they were part of the family.
Outside of his professional life, Pat enjoyed woodworking, gardening, reading, walking his dogs, researching anything he found interesting, and watching sports, particularly games that involved his grandsons.
Pat is survived by his wife of 50 years, Diane; his three daughters; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sister, Joan, and brother, Henry.
Pat’s family would like to extend their appreciation and gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and staff of Langley Memorial Hospital and Langley Hospice for the care and compassion he received in his final days.
—John Matheson, MD
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