Our families announce the peaceful passing of our wonderful father. John passed away in Ottawa with his wife of 62 years lovingly by his side.
He was born in Bangalore, India, of Australian parents, his father a clergyman. At age five John travelled alone on a ship to boarding school in England. Scholarships followed him. He was captain of the hockey team at Oxford where he trained to be a doctor. He continued his training at Bart’s hospital and emigrated to Canada in 1955. At the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal he led the team performing the first kidney transplant in the Commonwealth, co-founding the Kidney Foundation of Canada soon after. In 1970 he moved to the University of Alberta to continue his research in transplant immunology. During the 1980s he became increasingly involved in the growing field of medical ethics. Over the course of his career John received many awards and honours for his work, amongst them he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals, the Canadian Bioethics Society Lifetime Achievement Award and the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Service. He truly epitomized what it means to be a “scholar and a gentleman”.
Above all, John believed in the pursuit of knowledge.
He was a true lover of history and philosophy and welcomed and encouraged any kind of intellectual debate on any and all subjects (especially with a glass of sherry in hand). He was a lover of nature with memorable adventures in the Rockies (Skyline Trail, Tonquin Valley) and wonderful family sailing trips in the Gulf Islands of B.C.
He was also a man of faith and his membership in the Anglican church gave him great strength. He was slow to anger and never had a bad word to say about anyone. He was a true Renaissance man who has now left us in his 95th tour around the sun.
John leaves behind his devoted wife, Margaret (born Conlan, Northern Ireland) and his adoring daughters, Frances (Brian O’Kelly), Clare (Paul McEachern), Moira (Michael Dila), and predeceased by his wonderful son John (Ellen Power). A grandpa with kind eyes and bushy beard to Anna, Daniel, Eilish, Bridget, Gemma, Emmett, Francis, Kate, Maggie and Izzie. Predeceased by siblings Frank, Noenie, Peter and Andrew. A special thank you to the caring staff at Villagia in the Glebe and to Letty for her extraordinary care and compassion. Thanks also to his friends Mike, Coleen and Sarah. A Celebration of John’s life will be announced at a later date. Memorial donations to the Kidney Foundation of Canada gratefully accepted.