In early March, while enjoying a run down Whistler, Ray realized he couldn’t grip his pole adequately. Six months later he was gone. We have lost a great friend and colleague and an exceptional physician.
Ray was born in South Wales. His father worked in the coal pits and then managed a watch repair shop where Ray apprenticed when he dropped out of school at age 15. Fortunately for all of us who later came to know him, he was not successful at his next career attempt as a chicken breeder. So Ray returned to technical school and eventually went to Cardiff Medical School, graduating in 1964. He returned to Wales for a wonderful visit with his former classmates when he attended the 40-year reunion.
In 1965, Ray married Kit, a midwife and the love of his life. He worked in London and later returned to Wales. Ray did stints in anesthesia and emergency medicine before immigrating to Canada in 1969. The small community of Turtleford, Saskatchewan, was home to Ray and Kit and their growing family for 10 years. Ray was the consummate rural family doctor. He flew his own plane, ice fished, and enjoyed spending time as a member of the community. Being a small-town physician surely helped make him the wonderful consultant he was.
Kit and Ray and their three children, Sian, Rod, and William, left Turtleford in 1979 and settled in Tsawwassen. Ray completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at UBC and began his private practice in downtown Vancouver and St. Paul’s Hospital. He was an excellent obstetrician and gynecologist, and a fine doctor. Ray genuinely, respectfully, and enthusiastically cared for his profession, his patients, his clinical teammates, and his family. He was a joy to work with. He was a wonderful teacher and role model; upcoming students and residents, sadly, will not benefit from his teaching and mentoring.
Ray took great pleasure in his free time as well. He lived a modest life without great need for the material. He enjoyed what was around him. He had a great appetite and loved his beer and food, be it cafeteria grub or Indian curries. He did not travel much as he preferred to sail the waters close to home or to ski the BC mountains. He developed a wonderful group of friends at his “church,” the Club Linc program, which met Saturdays on Whistler Mountain. These friends were among those who gave Ray special, moving tributes at the Celebration of Life held in his honor in late September.
Ray was the pillar of his family and although we will all miss him, our heartfelt sympathy goes to Kit, Sian, Rod (and Samantha), William, and the grandchildren, Emily, Josh, and Christopher, who will miss him even more deeply.
—Vera Frinton, MD