David Sydney Skene
Died Saturday, July 20th, at his home supported by the love and care of his family and friends. He leaves his wife of 56 years, Joan (Carr-Harris) and his children John-David, Jeffrey and his wife Michelle, and Allison and her husband David. He also leaves his treasured grandchildren Benjamin, Abigail and Maxwell Skene, and Anson and Evelyn Adshade. David was predeceased by his beloved parents, Ida Robinson and John H. Skene, and his two brothers Bruce and John. He is survived by his sister Janet Garry. He was loved so deeply by his family and loved them all in return.
David grew up in Hamilton and Stoney Creek, Ontario where his football skills drew the attention of coaches at Queen’s University. This began one of the most important chapters of his life as a student and athlete. David went to Queen’s and enjoyed many years, some living at Collin’s House. He obtained his BA in 1959 and his medical degree in 1963. During his years in medical school, he formed some of the most cherished friendships of his life and his classmates from Meds’ 63 mourn his loss. An athlete to his core David was a proud member of Queen’s Golden Gaels football and hockey teams. He was co-captain with his classmate Terry Porter when the football team won the Yates cup in 1961 and was inducted into the Queen’s Football Hall of Fame in 1991. He remained a fervent Gaels fan and supporter for the rest of his life. He never passed up a chance to attend a game in Richardson Stadium and proudly attended his 55th class reunion at Homecoming 2018 and the 33rd annual Carr-Harris Cup hockey game in 2019. Cha Gheill!
For all his student years, his summer job was at Old Fort Henry, Kingston ultimately becoming lieutenant of the Fort Henry Guard. Along with cleaning cannons and standing sentry David’s experience at the Fort included taking part in memorable performances in Earl’s Court in London, England and in Washington DC, alongside the U.S. Marine Corp. David’s time at the Fort created fond memories and lasting friendships. Most importantly this is where David met his future wife Joan.
After an internship in Kingston, David practised Family Medicine in Thunder Bay (Port Arthur). He then returned to Kingston General Hospital to begin training in anaesthesia. He completed his anaesthesia training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Centre in NYC followed by a fellowship in Cardio-Pulmonary Research at Columbia University. At the behest of his classmate Dr. Gary Johnson, in 1971, David came to Ottawa and enjoyed a wonderful career in clinical anaesthesia and administrative leadership at the Ottawa General Hospital. David was passionate about anesthesiology, medical education and the Ottawa Hospital and served as an associate professor at the University of Ottawa, Department of Anaesthesia, head of the Ontario Section of the Canadian Anaesthesia Society, President of the CAS, head of the Department of Anaesthesia and Chief of Staff at the Ottawa General Hospital.
After settling in Ottawa, the chalet at Mont-Ste-Marie became a regular retreat and gave him years of enjoyment and relaxation amongst a special group of people on and off the ski slopes. This is where the family gathered and lifelong friendships were made. He will be remembered for his deep fried turkeys at Thanksgiving, classmate reunions, peanuts, rum and coke, and many wonderful celebrations at Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
His family is forever grateful for the wonderful care, delivered with kindness by so many. We thank Dr. Dan Smith, Dr. John Lorimer, Dr. Donna Maziak, Dr. Glenwood Goss, oncology nurse Joanne, Dr. Raphael Chan, Dr. Edward Fitzgibbon, palliative pain management nurse Olga Tsortos, Dr. Graham Cook, Dr. Parsons, Dr. Steve Tremblay, Dr. Miriam Mottiar and his cherished colleagues in Anaesthesia and finally Dr. Priscilla Bright, who made David’s final month at home possible. We thank as well the outstanding pharmacists at Shoppers Drug Mart (Earl Armstrong) the Personal Support Workers and Nurses from Access Health and At Home Hospice, the team at the Emergency Department and the 6th floor West at the General Campus.
We would like to thank our amazing friends and neighbours for sustained support at home and all those visits, goodies and casseroles. It is difficult to find words to adequately express our appreciation.
David was a man of integrity and strength. He was happiest surrounded by his family, especially his grandchildren who were always so happy to learn he was coming for dinner. He lived the final year and a half of his life managing the end stage of cancer with humour, and the courage, faith and discipline he had shown throughout his life. He made everyone smile until his very last day and will be dearly missed by all.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made towards a memorial bench through Queen’s University in memory of Dr. David Skene. Make your cheque payable to Queen’s University with the Bench and Tree Fund in Memory of David Skene listed on the memo line. If you’d like Queen’s to notify Dr. Skene’s family of your gift, please include the following note: “notify the family”. Send to Queen’s University, Attn: Michelle Pruefer, Old Medical Building Room 303, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6. Or visit www.givetoqueens.ca/skene to donate.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de David Sydney
Skene 1934 2019..
Décès pour la Ville:Ottawa, Province: Ontario