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"DAB" 2003 Obituary


DABYDEEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-17 published
By Cyril DABYDEEN, page A20
Doctor, cancer researcher, husband, father. Born May 21, 1927, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Died May 26, in Ottawa, of Parkinson's disease, aged 76.
He could have been a lawyer, he said: but combatting diseases became his lifelong discipline, until Dr. Elliott McCAUGHEY succumbed to Parkinson's. Grace, charm, and commitment to work characterized his life, in his uniquely Anglo-Irish way. But it was in Canada that he perhaps made his greatest contribution: In Ottawa, he was chief of laboratory medicine at the Civic Hospital and clinical professor of pathology at the University of Ottawa in a 14-year period; he also served as director of the Canadian Tumour Reference Centre.
"Everyone loved him," said staff at St. Vincent's Hospital in Ottawa, where Dr. McCAUGHEY spent his last years as a patient. His elegant use of the English language and wry humour made him "endearing and special," said Dr. John KAUFMANN, retired neuro-pathologist at the University of Western Ontario. "Elliott's particular use of the intransitive verb," added Dr. KAUFMANN, "was integral to his style, and with his logical mind he was always pleasant to listen to."
Dr. McCAUGHEY held many memberships in professional bodies in Britain and North America. His more-than-100 scholarly publications enhanced his reputation. And he was one of the first to make the link between asbestos and cancer, appearing often in U.S. courtrooms as an expert witness on this subject.
The McCAUGHEYs lived for generations in Belfast and Ballymena, as far back as c.1000, having descended from the High Kings of Ireland, according to lore. Elliott's father, William, was a senior civil servant of the Northern Ireland Government; his uncle Tom ELLIOT/ELLIOTT died in the Battle of the Somme in First World War.
After graduating from Queen's University, Belfast, Elliott McCAUGHEY worked at the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he met nurse Amy Kathleen PAUL from Kilrea, who became his bride; he then taught at Queen's University, Belfast. But his intellectual energies propelled him farther afield. in 1958, he came to Canada as assistant director of pathology, General Hospital, Saint John's, Newfoundland. In 1959, he worked for the famed Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Returning to Ireland, he headed the department of pathology at Dublin's prestigious Trinity College, serving from 1964 to 1972. During this time he spent six months as part of a medical research team in Nagpur, India, under the World Health Organization.
But patterns of disease in human populations and finding cures for diseases pre-occupied him. He moved back to Canada, to the University of Western Ontario, where he was most productive here he also formed some of his lasting Friendships. Then, in 1976 he came to Ottawa to continue his illustrious career. He retired after being struck by Parkinson's in 1994; around this same time his wife Amy suffered a stroke.
Dr. McCAUGHEY was well-known for his generosity. He also read widely: scientific material, politics, economics, belles-lettres. He regularly visited the National Gallery, and was an ardent listener to the short-wave radio, the British Broadcasting Corporation mainly. A whisky connoisseur he was; and he golfed in Ireland and elsewhere while travelling to conferences.
In the final months, as his mind teetered and his tremors increased because of Parkinson's, he flitted back and forth to familiar Belfast and Dublin, and to former colleagues at Queen's and Trinity: Images interspersed with life in Canada, his family especially, all in his ubiquitous consciousness. With his wife Amy and daughters by his side, Dr. McCAUGHEY showed immense courage to the end. He left behind his wife, and children Paul, Claire and Gail and five grandchildren.
Cyril is son-in-law to Elliott McCAUGHEY.

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