Clarence McNeill

Clarence Grenfell McNeill passed away peacefully on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002.

He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Mary; brother Fred, children Marianne (Cam) McLean of Vancouver, Keith of Clearwater, and Rory of Rockhampton, Australia; son-in-law Kurt Odermatt of Vavenby; grandchildren Kathy (Don) Young, Ian (Sonja) McLean, Lisa Odermatt and James Odermatt; great-grandchildren Roxanne (Kevin) Murphy, Nelson Simmonds, Sharon McLean, Sandra McLean and Scott McLean; and great-great-grandchildren Stephen, Aidan and Katie Murphy. He was pre-deceased by his brother Marvel, sister Jean McCreary, son John, and daughter Jocelyn Odermatt.

Clarence was born on April 13, 1913, in Minto, Manitoba, and married Mary Amanda Runnals in Edmonton in 1937.

He studied medicine at the University of Alberta, graduating in 1941. During the war he practiced at the Columbia Coast Mission Hospital at Rock Bay on Vancouver Island and at the B.C. Security Commission Camp at Tashme before serving overseas as a captain with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps.

With the end of hostilities he worked for the United Nations, setting up and administering a refugee camp and hospital for 60,000 Polish displaced persons at Fallingbostel, Germany.

Following his return from Europe he began a long and respected career as a general practitioner in North Vancouver, serving both as chief of general practice and chief of medical staff at North Vancouver General Hospital. In 1965 he went to Jamaica for a year to specialize in anesthesiology, later becoming chief of the section of anesthesia at Lions Gate Hospital. He retired in 1980.

For the past few years he was a resident of the West Vancouver Care Center, and the family extends its appreciation to the members of the center’s staff for their kind support.

A quiet and thoughtful man, Clarence will possibly be remembered by most for his beautiful woodcarvings, paintings and other works of art.

“In my youth I deliberately made a switch from a possible career in art to the profession of medicine. I wanted to find out all I could about mankind (“the proper study of mankind is man.”) I wanted to be of service — which I hope I have been.”

— C.G. McNeill


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