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Donald THOMPSON

THOMPSON, Donald Willard
March 1927 – June 2014
On June 22, 2014, Donald passed away peacefully in his sleep in Nelson, British Columbia. Donald was predeceased by his loving wife of more than 50 years, Arleen ('Bonnie") (nee McPhee) in December 2011 and his son Russell in February 1982. He is survived by his sister Kathleen (Mike), his children Eric, Richard (Marilyn), Daniel (Jolene) and Kathryn (Ron) as well as his grandchildren Erin, David, Ryan, Erika, Sarah, Ryley, Caiden and Zahra and step-grandchildren Kelsey and Alicia. Born March 3, 1927, Donald grew up in Zealandia, Saskatchewan. He graduated from high school at a young age and earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a medical degree from Harvard University. He interned in Calgary, Alberta before settling in Toronto, Ontario where he would become Head of Pathology at Toronto General Hospital. He taught medicine for 25+ years at the University of Toronto. Donald led a very active life. He was an avid sports fan, known for his ability to get the best tickets for events in Toronto. Numerous hobbies included coin and stamp collecting and thoroughbred horse racing. He was a patron of Canadian arts and had a keen interest in Canadian history, assembling noteworthy collections of documents around the Riel rebellion and publishing his own work, "Emerging Saskatchewan" from the perspective of a postal history. He also excelled at bridge, playing in tournaments throughout North America. His children have fond memories of growing up on an acreage in Richmond Hill, Ontario, where Don ensured active outdoor lives with many hours spent on the family skating rink and in large gardening enterprises, where his passion for botany was on display. A Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal Winner, Donald made major contributions to the medical community through his extensive research into the impacts of smoking and mining on lung cancer in the 1950s and 1960s, and as a principal of Toronto-based Cyto-Pathology Associates where he authored a definitive work on the proper administration and interpretation of Pap smears. He was considered a world expert in Pathology who was often called as an expert witness and to provide services to a Canadian Prime Minister and US Presidential candidate. His entrepreneurial pursuits included development of the Deerfoot Mall and Deerfoot Business Park in Calgary, Alberta. A dedicated father, husband, doctor, history buff, sports fan and hobbyist, Don will be deeply missed by his surviving family members who know that his passing provides him relief from his recent failing health.The family will hold a Private Celebration of Donald's Life in Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, June 28, 2014. Those wishing to make donations in honour of Donald are asked to direct their donations to the Canadian Cancer Society. After a fulfilling and vivid life, Donald now finds the rest and peace he deeply deserves. People wishing to express condolences can do so at: www.thompsonfs.ca.


Published in The Calgary Herald on June 26, 2014
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