It is with a heavy heart I wish to respectfully advise of the passing of my father, Dr Ronald J. Hancock, a general surgeon in Vancouver. He succumbed, with cruel irony, to one of the worst enemies against which he fought valiantly with so many patients.
It is with a heavy heart I wish to respectfully advise of the passing of my father, Dr Ronald J. Hancock, a general surgeon in Vancouver. He succumbed, with cruel irony, to one of the worst enemies against which he fought valiantly with so many patients. He passed with peace on 31 December 2011.
Ron was born in London, England, on 2 November 1930 and was orphaned in infancy, then later placed in foster care for his early years. He was transported in 1938 to Fairbridge Farm School in Duncan, where he grew to be a healthy, independent, and sturdy young man. He excelled at Penticton High School, winning a provincial scholarship to enter UBC, where he achieved a BA (Hons.) in English and his MD, Class of 1957.
With general surgery residencies in Vancouver and England, his FRCS was realized in 1963. A prominent and busy surgical career followed, and he held significant posts as president of the BC Surgical Society, head of surgery at Shaughnessy Hospital, and clinical professor of surgery at UBC, where he taught for 30 years.
He was a most capable and masterful surgeon, saving and improving literally thousands of lives. He also had the gift of making very difficult procedures appear smooth and effortless, and put everyone in the operating theatre at ease, especially students and residents. I was privileged to scrub with him on many occasions.
He received many teaching awards, and was liked by all and loved by many. Ron was an instrumental and formative influence in the careers of many of today’s active BC surgeons, and hundreds who chose other directions in the profession.
Ron also had a very active social and leisure life. He had a beautiful timbre to his baritone voice and sang with joy at many recitals, weddings, and gatherings, as well as singing O Canada at Canucks hockey games and on stage at Malkin Bowl with Theatre Under The Stars in Stanley Park.
In the operating room he was respectfully referred to as “the singing surgeon” by many who worked with him. Ron was very involved for many decades with the Vancouver Opera Association, including serving on the board of directors, and he seldom missed a performance.
Next to music and song, golf was his primary passion—he was an avid player and member of Shaughnessy for over 4 decades, where he apexed at a two handicap. He played all over the world with foursomes of his closest friends and was in his element on any course. He was almost boyish with exuberance on the first tee of any round. I also had the honor of his companionship and guidance on hundreds of occasions on the links. Members and staff of the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club will not forget his magnificent persona.
Ron is survived by his loving wife Chinami and their son Myles; by his first wife Patricia and their children Sandra, John, Sharon, Michele, and Sylvia; and 10 grandchildren. He is missed by countless others.
His life was full, and he lives on in his many fortunate descendants. We, unlike him, know where our roots began.
I know the gates are open for you Poppa.
—R. John Hancock, MD
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