Dr William Sterling Haynes, 1928–2020

Dr William Sterling Haynes

Sterling was born in Edmonton, Alberta, to Elizabeth Sterling, a teacher and actor, and Nelson, a dentist. He completed a BSc in biology/chemistry and an MSc in zoology at the University of Alberta. After a stint as a dam builder and fish farmer in northern Nigeria, Sterling returned to Edmonton where he met his wife, Jessie McKiddie. He followed his older sister, Shirley, into medicine, receiving his MD in 1958. 

After an internship at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, Sterling completed a residency at Oakland’s Kaiser Permanente emergency room. In 1960, he joined the practice of Dr Barney Ringwood and Dr Hugh Atwood in Williams Lake, BC, later partnering with Dr Donald McLean. After studying urology at UBC, Sterling returned to rural family practice, joining the Burris Clinic in Kamloops. In 1980 Sterling moved to Alabama, where he worked for the health department bringing services to underserved patients. In 1988 Sterling retired for the first time, settling in Kelowna. However, his love of medicine got the best of him and he joined WorkSafeBC in Kamloops. He then took up doing locums in rural BC, retiring for the third and final time in 1992. 

Sterling was often on call, mentored many young doctors, delivered thousands of babies, and never said no to anyone in need. He also played a mean game of tennis and was an accomplished badminton and squash player. In his 70s, Sterling took up writing, recounting his years practising medicine; many of his works were published in medical journals and by Caitlin Press.

Sterling leaves behind his wife of 64 years, Jessie; his daughters, Elizabeth, Melissa (Steve), Jocelyn (Steve), and Leslie (Randy); two grandchildren, Carson and Rachel; and numerous nieces and nephews.
—Gordon Olson, MD
—Elizabeth Haynes

Gordon Olsen, MD, Elizabeth Haynes. Dr William Sterling Haynes, 1928–2020. BCMJ, Vol. 62, No. 7, September, 2020, Page(s) 253 - Obituaries.

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Wendy Morton says: reply

Dr Haynes was our family doctor in Kamloops and delivered both my children. He was one of the finest doctors my family ever had throughout the years.
My condolences to his family and friends.

Ina U. Childs says: reply

I met Dr.Haynes in the early 80's when he came from Canada and became the maternity clinical doctor at the Perry County Health Department, Marion, Alabama. I could not have met a more cmpassionate and caring doctor for his patients and staff in such a small rural area in southern alabama. I was an assistance to him and the clinical nurse. My job consist on recording keeping, but it was much broader because of a small rural clinic which your training consist of many task......which I so much enjoyed working with Dr. Haynes. He always referred to himself as Sterling Haynes. He had lots of patients that grew very fond of him including my mother who passed away June, 2017 at the age of 104 years old. They built Dr. Haynes a very nice clinic for his private practice outside of his work at the county health department.
I will always have fond memories of working so closely with him. He delivered my last child on October 12, 1983 at 1:45 a.m.
So sorry to hear of the loss of Dr. William Stering Haynes. I know he will be missed by many, family, friends and the community. My prayers will always be with the family of Dr. Haynes.

Ina U. Childs
105 Old York Place
Greensboro, AL 36744

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