MDCM, BSc, FACP, Professor Emeritus of Medicine McGill University
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6 June 1917 - 24 February 2013
Husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, physician, teacher, mentor, and inspiration, JAP, the Big Cheese, Uncle Pete, Poppa died peacefully surrounded by his family at the age of 95.
Jules Arthur Peter was the third of nine children produced by Lucy and Alphonse Paré. He was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Anne Patricia (Allison) and by six siblings Tony, Phonsine, Dick, Pat, Peggy, and Paul. He is survived by two brothers (John and Donald), and by his nine children-Peter II (Lisa Baile), Maryanne (John Allan), Julia, Anthony (Dawn Allen), Nick (Diane Larsen), David (Susan Peet), Michael (Katherine Yiu), Tim (Lisa Scalapino) and Paul (Luise Massari), 17 grandchildren and 4 great- grandchildren,
After attending Collège Brébeuf and Loyola College, Peter graduated from McGill as a physician in 1943. During the war he joined the Air Force but the war ended before he went overseas and he resumed his training in internal medicine and respiratory medicine at McGill (1943-48). In 1948-49 he did additional training as a post-doctoral fellow in Chest Medicine at Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital before returning to McGill where he spent the duration of his career.
With his friend Bob Fraser he wrote four editions of the textbook, Diagnosis of Diseases of the Chest. The text became internationally recognized and influenced a generation of respiratory physicians, surgeons and radiologists. For the last two editions of the book, Peter and Bob recruited their sons Peter II and Rick as co-authors. In 1975 Peter became a professor of Medicine at McGill and between 1975 and 1983, when he assumed Professor Emeritus status, he served as the combined Respiratory Division Head of the McGill teaching hospitals.
He was a model for teaching with a humorous, gentle and always encouraging style. Professionally Peter will be remembered best as a clinician, diagnostician and teacher. The weekly teaching sessions that he initiated with his colleagues Drs. Robert Fraser, Peter Macklem and Whitey (William) Thurlbeck are legendary and are still called, "Paré Rounds." In 2011 Peter received the Distinguished Achievement Award of the American Thoracic Society.
Despite his busy professional life Peter was also active and influential outside of Medicine. He was councillor, then president of the Dorval Catholic School Commission and instrumental in establishing a robust educational system on the West Island. He was one of the founding patrons of the Benedict Labre Society established in 1952 by his lifelong friend Tony Walsh; the Benedict Labre House continues to feed and care for the homeless. He was an active sportsman: skier, golfer, runner, cyclist and tennis player. And he was a lover of children, adept at coaxing a smile from the shyest child and always eager to cradle the newest arrival of every generation.
His family home in Val Morin , the gathering place for the large Paré clan, was his haven, his pride and his project. For generations family events and traditions, as well as professional gatherings, have been celebrated in Peter and Anne's lovingly tended gardens by Lac Raymond.
Peter spent the final years of his life at the Westmount One residence and was close to both residents and the excellent staff there.
There will be two events of remembrance for Peter. A funeral mass will be held in the parish church in Val Morin (6140, rue Morin, Val-Morin Quebec ) on Saturday, March 2nd at 11 a.m.
On Monday, March 4th at 3:00 p.m. a Celebration of Peter's life and a Reception will take place at the McGill Faculty Club at 3450 rue McTavish Montreal, which will be open to family, friends and colleagues.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made and would be greatly appreciated in honour of Peter's life to the Alphonse and Lucy Griffith Paré Foundation (http://www.parefoundation.org/ ) or a charity of your choice .
Published in National Post on Feb. 27, 2013