Dr. Leonard Maher
passed away peacefully at the age of 91 at the Royal Inland Hospital on July 15, 2015, with his family by his side.
He is lovingly remembered by his children Phil, Dan, Brenda and Paul, and his grandchildren Eric, Rae, Emily, Monica and Laura. He was predeceased by our mother Constance, his parents Phil and Ivy, his sister Eunice and our stepmother Lila.
Dad was born at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, on January 20, 1925. He spent his childhood in Edmonton and Vancouver and his life revolved around study and sports. He graduated in Medicine at the University of Alberta in 1949, and after completing a year’s internship at St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver he stayed on for one year of post-graduate training in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine.
Dad met our mother when he was in high school and they married in 1950. In 1951, after Phil was born, they moved to Quesnel where he joined the Avery Clinic. He began a very busy family practice that extended for over a decade and balanced the needs of work, a growing family and further education. In 1953 he completed one year of Obstetrics in Edmonton at the Royal Alex and later 6 months of Anaesthesia at the Vancouver General Hospital.
He decided to specialize in Otolaryngology in 1961. After completing one year of training in Vancouver, he and the family moved to Richmond, Virginia, so he could spend three years at the Medical College of Virginia. Returning to the Interior of BC, Dad opened his practice in Otolaryngology in Kamloops in 1964. At that time, he was the only Otolaryngologist outside of the Lower Mainland and the only specialist in Head and Neck Trauma until 1975. As Kamloops grew with more specialists arriving, Dad decided to narrow his focus to Otology. In addition to having a very busy practice he sat on numerous hospital committees and was Chief of Medical Staff for a number of years.
Throughout his practice, Dad was very conscientious and caring. He had great respect for his patients.
After having open heart surgery in 1985, he was compelled to stop practicing medicine.
Dad never strayed from his working-class background and lived a very modest lifestyle. He had a lifelong passion for learning a wide range of subjects and approached everything in a methodical and studious manner. He had a strong interest in Canadian history, politics, religious studies, and the English language. He loved the natural beauty of the Kamloops area and often explored the rest of the province. Golfing and bridge were among his favourite pastimes and he had a love for dancing. A voracious reader, he stayed abreast of current events and was always eager for a lively discussion.
During his retirement at the Rivershore Golf Estates, Dad wrote a book, Memories of a Cariboo Doctor, about his general practice in Quesnel, and in it he offers some views on changing trends in Medicine.
When his health deteriorated in 2010, Dad moved to Kamloops Seniors Village. He enjoyed living at the Village and was very appreciative of their care. He befriended many residents and his cheerful manner will be greatly missed.
Dad is deeply loved by his family and will be sadly missed.
An Evening Prayer Service will be held at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Friday July 31, 2015, starting at 7 pm. A Funeral Mass will be held at the Cathedral on Saturday August 1, 2015, at 11 am, followed by a reception at the Cathedral hall.
Should friends desire, donations may be made to Royal Inland Hospital Foundation.
The family would like to thank Dr. Stefanyk, the Kamloops Seniors Village and the staff at the Royal Inland Emergency and 6 South for the care given to our father.
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