16 June 2015

Dr J David Roger, RIP

BIFHSGO members will join me in offering condolences to the family of Dr. J. David Roger, until fairly recently enthusiastic attendee at BIFHSGO meetings and its oldest member. Here is his obituary from the Ottawa Citizen.

Dr J David Roger, M.R.C.P. (Lond.), F.R.C.P. (C.), F.A.C.C.
David died at home, in Ottawa; at the age of 98 after what he himself said was "more than his fair share of a long and happy life". He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 51 years, Doris (Brown) in 2002. He is the dearly loved father of Margie (Dave Howsam), Jean (Guy Brault) and Dave "Rouge", proud grandfather of Shannon and Dave Farrall, Vivianne, Christian, and Sophie Brault and step-grandfather of Gayle (Brandon Malone) and Kaitlin Delahunt as well as the great-grandfather of Aryanna Malone, and Anais and Justine Marceau. He will be remembered with love by his sister Ann (Ian Berwick) of England. Born on July 13, 1916 and raised in Alta Vista, Ottawa, he was one of five children of Alexander and Elsie Roger. He studied Medicine at the University of Toronto where at age 17 he was second youngest in a class of 180 students. After graduation he interned at The Ottawa Civic Hospital where, as a Junior Intern, he delivered fifty babies in one month. In 1942 he did postgraduate work in New York City before returning to Ottawa to "get into" the war. From 1942-1945 he served as R.C.A.F. Medical Officer of 410 Squadron, a Mosquito Night Fighter Squadron, in England, France and Holland. Before returning home after the war he wrote and passed the Royal College of Physicians of London (England) exams for specialization in Internal Medicine. Later he added a second speciality, Radiology, to his skills. David knew that he wanted to be a doctor from the age of 10 and it was a vocation for him, not just an occupation. He practised in Ottawa for over 50 years in which he looked after referred patients in internal medicine, cardiology and radiology. His children vividly remember the phone ringing in the middle of many nights when he was frequently called by colleagues to consult on ill patients. When he was called out of town for consultations in the hospitals of Ottawa Valley and Western Quebec towns (e.g. Shawville, Kemptville, Wakefield, Renfrew, Pembroke), his wife Doris often drove so that he could get some sleep on the way. As well as the Ottawa Valley and Western Quebec he also travelled to the Baffin Regional Hospital in what was then Frobisher Bay (now Iqualuit). He was on staff at The Civic Hospital for over 60 years, as well as the Grace Hospital, and briefly at the General Hospital and the Rideau Veterans Hospital. He was also President of The Medical Arts Building at 180 Metcalfe Street for several years. He served his patients with dedication and his profession with distinction. Recently The Academy of Medicine Ottawa honoured him by naming an award after him. "The Dr. J. David Roger Distinguished Service Award" will be awarded annually to an AMO physician who demonstrates excellence in advocacy and professional roles, as well as providing outstanding service to the community both as a physician and a public spirited citizen. As well as his busy practice, he was involved with Beechwood Cemetery for over 40 years, first as a Director of the Board and then as President. His sense of honour and great integrity were never more apparent than during the 10 year legal battle in the 1990's to protect the cemetery by saving cemetery land from being sold off for townhouses. He felt his obligations and responsibilities deeply. His tremendous contribution to Beechwood and the Ottawa community is recognized with a plaque and garden in his name at the entrance to the National Memorial Centre of what is now Canada's National Cemetery. He had many friends whom he took pleasure in knowing and for whom he had a great appreciation. His children are grateful for the pleasure that his friends brought him in his last years, including those from the Friday Luncheon and Discussion Club, The Canadian Club and the seventy-five who attended his 98th birthday party last year. He leaves a legacy of love and friendship, honour and integrity. He was a loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and his family will always remember him with love and with many memories of "happy times" together. His children would like to thank his caregivers, Jocelyn and Teresita from Home Instead Senior Care, who looked after him with both professionalism and affection. As per his wishes his body has been donated to the University of Ottawa for the advancement of science and medical education. Later his cremated remains will be interred in the Roger family plot at Beechwood Cemetery beside his "dear Doris". Friends and family are invited to visit at the Beechwood National Memorial Centre, 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa on Thursday, June 18, 2015 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.

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