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"KRO" 2003 Obituary


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KROACH o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-30 published
Doctor gave the 'gift of life'
'Test-tube' baby expert helped introduce In Vitro Fertilization program at the University of Toronto
By Carol COOPER Special to The Globe and Mail Wednesday, April 30, 2003 - Page R9
Nine months ago, a long-time patient of Dr. Alan SHEWCHUK offered the reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist a choice of pictures depicting her daughter to add to his collage of kids' photos from grateful parents. Upon choosing one, he flipped it over and read an inscription: "Thank you for the gift of life."
Dr. SHEWCHUK had unknowingly made an apt choice, one that spoke of the joy his work brought to his patients and their families.
"It was wonderful to have the experience [of having a child]. It was truly a great gift of life, "said the woman, who conceived under Dr. SHEWCHUK's care. Her reaction was typical of those he treated and it drove him: "They [his patients] were just so happy and that was the kick that he got out of it, "said Valerie SHEWCHUK, his wife of 42 years.
Dr. SHEWCHUK, who throughout his career directed the Toronto General Hospital's reproductive biology unit, helped start the University of Toronto's In Vitro Fertilization program, ran a private practice, taught medical school and co-founded a private infertility clinic -- with many activities overlapping -- died of cancer on March 29 at the age of 66.
Known as "Big Al" to many colleagues for his tongue-in-cheek persona of the grand old man of infertility treatment, the good-looking doctor worked briefly as a model and worked evenings at a variety store to pay his way through medical school.
After completing his training, Dr. SHEWCHUK practised family medicine in Toronto's Little Italy. There, in order to communicate with his patients, he learned Italian, adding to the French, German and Ukrainian he already knew. Three years later, he left to study obstetrics and gynecology, completing his residency in 1969. That year he became an associate staff member of Toronto General Hospital and a clinical research fellow in what was later named its reproductive biology unit.
Appointed a staff member at the hospital in 1972, Dr. SHEWCHUK attended more than 3,000 births during his career.
"He just loved delivering babies, "said his daughter Melanie, who worked with her father for 25 years. "He said, when you pulled out a baby, the baby was the most perfect thing in the world. And you hand it to the parents and the parents are just elated."
witnessing the joy of birth motivated Dr. SHEWCHUK to help those who suffered the sorrow of infertility.
"As each decade brought new things to the field of infertility, he kept up and tried to enhance people's fertility in the best way he could with the tools he had at the time, "said Nancy BRYCELAND, the nurse manager who worked with Dr. SHEWCHUK in the reproductive biology unit he headed from 1974 to 1988. One of those tools was in vitro fertilization. Dr. SHEWCHUK travelled with colleagues to Melbourne, Australia, late in 1983 to study the technique and in January, 1984, was among those who began the University of Toronto in vitro fertilization program located at Toronto General.
On June 21 of that year, Dr. SHEWCHUK told the Ontario Medical Association that a Toronto woman participating in the in vitro fertilization program was four-months pregnant, The Globe and Mail reported. In November, 1984, the program's first baby was born.
Dr. SHEWCHUK was born in Toronto on October 18, 1936, the middle of three sons of a schoolteacher of Ukrainian descent and a Ukrainian father who immigrated to Canada during the First World War. Interned in northern Ontario for two years because of his Austro-Hungarian citizenship, Dr. SHEWCHUK's father later worked as a house painter and carpenter.
Dr. SHEWCHUK was a gifted athlete who played quarterback in high-school football and turned down the chance to pursue professional baseball. Instead, he attended the University of Toronto medical school.
As an assistant professor with the school from 1976 to 1983, following time as a clinical instructor and lecturer, Dr. SHEWCHUK demanded a lot of his students, including standards of professional dress. The doctor, who himself wore a lab coat, required they wear a shirt and tie in the presence of patients and sent them home to change if they appeared otherwise.
"He was a great motivator, "said Dr. Matt GYSLER, a former student of Dr. SHEWCHUK's and now chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, Ontario "He made this area [reproductive medicine] sound interesting."
Appreciative patients brought babies and gifts of baking to his office.
"Dr. SHEWCHUK was like a father figure to his patients, "said Dr. Murray KROACH, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at the Toronto East General Hospital. "He had a presence that gave confidence and he was motivated very strongly to expand this area of reproductive biology."
Said one patient: "He was larger than life and had a magical quality." She remembers how Dr. SHEWCHUK told her that he had slept poorly the night before her ultrasound, worrying about the success of her pregnancy. "He balanced hope with reality," another said.
With a heavy workload, Dr. SHEWCHUK reluctantly stopped delivering babies in the late 1980s. In 1992, along with three others, Dr. SHEWCHUK established START, a private infertility clinic.
"Dr. SHEWCHUK was a great idea man, "said Dr. Carl LASKIN, one of the clinic's co-founders. "He was a real character who would never just accept that it was just by the book. The obvious was never the way he liked to think."
During clinical meetings when colleagues presented sound physiological reasons for a patient's problems, Dr. SHEWCHUK would often counter with an "off-the-wall" explanation. "Many times he would be absolutely wrong, "Dr. LASKIN said, "but he pushed everyone to think differently."
Two and a half months before his death, Dr. SHEWCHUK wrote a letter to a married couple who had seen him. In it, he encouraged them not to give up hope and reminded them that they could adopt. They would make wonderful parents. And he said that people like them were the reason he came to work. They had given him joy, said the man who himself brought joy to so many.
Dr. SHEWCHUK leaves his wife Valerie and children Melanie, Leslie and Alan.

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KROEKER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-29 published
OLSEN, Eric Guthrie
After a long battle with cancer, Eric died in Toronto on July 26, 2003. He was predeceased by his loving first wife, Marjorie and his son Michael. He will be missed by his sisters Margaret ORAM and Brenda OLSEN in England, and his loving children Barbara WILKES (Andy), Geoffrey OLSEN, Brenda KROEKER (Henry), and Robert OLSEN, and by his grandchildren - David and Julia WILKES, Jesse and Sheena OLSEN, and Christine WILSON. Eric was born in Yorkshire, England in 1927, immigrating to Canada with Marjorie in 1951. After years with Dominion Bridge, Eric founded Amhurst Drafting Company Ltd. in 1959 with the support and ongoing participation of Marjorie. The company was known in the steel industry for its excellent work, high ethical standards, skilled employees and excellence in training. After nearly 30 successful years, the company was closed. A special thanks goes to Dr. M. SHERMAN and his team at Toronto General Hospital for the clinical trial of the new cancer drug that gave us another three years with Dad. And also to Dr. John RIEGER of the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care for the support that made it possible to Dad to stay home with family. Visitation for the hour before the service will be held at St. James-the-Less Cemetery Chapel, 635 Parliament Street, Today Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 2: 00 p.m with service following at 3: 00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations ''In memory of Eric Olsen'' to the Canadian Cancer Society would be greatly appreciated.

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KROGER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-23 published
Rolf O. KROGER, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Psychology University of Toronto
Rolf died, as he lived, with grace, courage, humour and dignity, at home on April 18th, 2003, of advanced prostate cancer. He was the devoted and beloved husband of Linda WOOD. He was the cherished son of Erna KROGER and son-in-law of Adele WOOD; loving brother of Harold and Jurgen KROGER; dear brother-in-law of Wilma KROGER, Edelgard DEDO, Lorraine WOOD, Robert and Deborah WOOD, and Reg WOOD; much loved uncle of Andrew KROGER and Stephen KROGER, Christina and Linda JUHASZ- WOOD, Taylor, Genna and Devon WOOD, Jonathan and Nicole WOOD, Phillippe NOEL, and Jose and David TILLETT, and nephew of Liesl WINTER, Otto WINTER and Alf and Sue MODJESKI. Rolf was born in Hamburg, Germany, on September 28th, 1931. He emigrated to Canada in 1952, and completed a B.A. in psychology at Sir George Williams College (now Concordia University) in 1957. Following his M.A. (1959) at Columbia University, New York, he received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1963. His advisor, Prof. Theodore R. SARBIN (Prof. Emeritus, University of California, Santa Cruz,) has continued to be a valued colleague and dear friend, together with Rolf's fellow graduate student, Prof. Karl E. SCHEIBE of Wesleyan University and Karl's wife Wendy. Rolf joined the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto in 1964 and continued his research and writing in social psychology after retiring in 1996. Rolf's work addressed a variety of topics concerning the individual in the social system. His articles and papers on the social psychology of test-taking, hypnosis, history, epistemology, methodology and the discipline of social psychology all reflected his dissatisfaction with the status quo combined with proposals for new directions. For more than 20 years he has worked with Linda A. WOOD (University of Guelph) on topics in language and social psychology (e.g., terms of address and politeness), and most recently on a book on discourse analysis. At the time of his death, he was working on a discursive critique of the 'Big Five' personality theory enterprise and on stories of his experiences growing up in Germany during the Second World War. Rolf also took great pleasure in teaching and greatly valued the opportunity to work for almost forty years with so many talented and enthusiastic students, both undergraduate and graduate. Rolf was privileged to have many long-lasting Friendships, and he was grateful for the encouragement, help and comfort given by so many, especially Bogna ANDERSSON, Eva and Fred BILD, Clare MacMARTIN and Bill MacKENZIE, Frances NEWMAN and Fred WEINSTEIN, Jesse NISHIHATA, Anne and Michael PETERS, Andrew and Judi WINSTON and Lorraine WOOD. We have also been sustained by the kindness of our neighbours on Walmer Road. We express our particular thanks and appreciation to family physician and friend, Dr. Christine LIPTAY. Our thanks go also to the staff of Princess Margaret Hospital, to the physicians and nurses of the Hospice Palliative Care Network Project, especially Dr. Russell GOLDMAN and nurses Francine BOHN, Joan DYKE, Dwyla HAMILTON, Lynda McKEE and Ella VAN HERREWEGHE, and to the nurses of St. Elizabeth, especially Liz LEADBEATER, Sylvia McCALLUM and Cecilia McPARLAND. Cremation was private. There will be an Open House for remembrance and celebration on Sunday, April 27th (3-7 p.m.), Monday, April 28th (4-8 p.m.) and Tuesday, April 29th (4-8 p.m.) at 98 Walmer Road, Toronto, Ontario M5R 2X7. Please direct any queries to Frances NEWMAN (416-351-0755.) In lieu of flowers, donations to Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care (700 University Avenue, Third Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Z5) or Amnesty International would be appreciated.

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KROKER o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-06-04 published
Rick FRANCIS
Funeral services for Mr. Rick FRANCIS, age 47 years, who died Saturday, May 17, 2003, were held on Tuesday evening in the Blake Funeral Chapel in Thunder Bay, ON, led by Reverend Larry KROKER of Saint Anne's Church. Eulogies were offered by Kevin MAIN, Jaymie PENNY, Paul FRANCIS, Jennifer O'NEIL and Tamara BROWN. Numerous co-workers from the city of Thunder Bay, fellow coaches from minor hockey, neighbors, Friends and family attended the service. Removal was then made to Little Current, for visitation and Funeral Mass in Saint Bernard's Church celebrated by Reverend Bert FOLIOT S.J. on Thursday, May 22, 2003. The readings were proclaimed by Celina McGREGOR, Jennifer KEYS, Raquel KOENIG and PollyAnna McNALLY. Eulogies were offered by Kerry FRANCIS, Raymond FRANCIS, Jenny McGRAW, Paul FRANCIS and Ruthanne FRANCIS. The offertory gifts were presented by Kerry and Brenda FRANCIS. The Soloist was Rosa PITAWANAKWAT- BURK/BURKE accompanied by the organist Thomas NESHIKWE. Services were largely attended by long time Friends, members of Saint Bernard Church, and family. Honourary Pallbearers were Jeff FRANCIS and David LARSON. The Active Pallbearers were Allan ESHKAWKOGAN, Paul FRANCIS Jr., Robert McGRAW Jr., Craig KOENIG, Mike McNALLY and Chris KEYS.

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