Dr Roger A.L. Sutton, 1937–2014

portrait of Dr. Sutton
With great sadness we announce that Professor Emeritus Roger A.L. Sutton, DM, FRCPC, died on 10 September after a courageous 2-year battle with bladder cancer. Dr Sutton led an extraordinary life of accomplishment, adventure, and family. He will be deeply missed by his loving and devoted wife, Wendy, to whom he was happily married for 52 years, and his two proud daughters, Fiona and Nicola.

Dr Roger Sutton was born in Lancashire, England. He received his medical training at Oxford University and his postgraduate training at University College Hospital, London. Roger, Wendy, and their two young daughters immigrated to Canada in the early 1970s, where Dr Sutton worked initially at the Royal Victoria Hospital and McGill University in Montreal. In the mid 1970s the family moved to Vancouver, where Dr Sutton became the head of the Division of Nephrology and subsequently head of the Department of Medicine, Vancouver General Hospital, and president of the Canadian Society of Nephrology. In 1978 he was awarded the prestigious Medal in Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Possessing an unusually exacting and curious mind, he became internationally recognized and acclaimed in his specialty of nephrology, with particular expertise in osteoporosis and renal stones, and was widely admired for his clinical, research, and administrative abilities. In 1993 Roger and Wendy traveled to Pakistan to take up a 7-year position as the head of the Department of Medicine at the Aga Khan University in Karachi and then dean of Health Sciences, Aga Khan University, where he was the central figure in the development of the curriculum for the new medical school, before returning to Vancouver in 2000.

Dr Sutton had a lifelong passion for ornithology, and it is quite likely that he ultimately came to know as much about birds as he did about medicine. His love of birds and bird watching started in childhood. Later in life his bird-watching expertise was accompanied by an accomplishment in the photography of birds. His fearless love for travel and adventure has been an inspiration to his daughters.

Dr Sutton’s life-long achievements in medicine and birding were associated with quiet calm, a great sense of humor, and enviable modesty. He was passionate about life and took great joy in the company of his family and friends. He was a loving husband and father and a caring physician. He will be much missed by his family, numerous patients, colleagues, and friends, and his many beloved students and fellows who now hold senior positions in medicine throughout the world. Dr Sutton is survived by his wife, Wendy; two daughters, Fiona and Nicola; brother, Nigel; in-laws, Gill, Liz, Michael, and Marshall; and nieces and nephews, Alison, Julia, Andrew, Julia, Ann, and John, all of whom loved him dearly.

Our thanks to Roger’s friends, who supported him and his family throughout his illness, and the doctors and staff at Vancouver General Hospital, the BC Cancer Agency, and in particular the Palliative Care Unit, for their compassion and care.
—Wendy Sutton
—Fiona Burrows
—Nicola Sutton
Vancouver

Wendy Sutton,, Fiona Burrows,, Nicola Sutton,. Dr Roger A.L. Sutton, 1937–2014. BCMJ, Vol. 56, No. 9, November, 2014, Page(s) 447 - Obituaries.



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