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John Canakaris MD aka "Dr. John" passed away on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. Dr. John began his medical career in the late 1940s while serving in the United States Army Medical Corps. He was assigned to Melbourne, FL until 1950 when he left Active Military service and took up residence in Flagler County. Arriving in Flagler County, Dr. John discovered a desperate need for medical care and a lack of essential services. He went to work right away, focusing on making house calls to families in need. By 1954, Dr. John established the first medical clinic and Emergency Medical Services in Flagler County. In 1960, the Bunnell Medical Clinic had grown into a 60 bed medical hospital known as the Bunnell General. He continued to increase medical services in Flagler County and built the larger 80 bed Community Hospital of Bunnell in 1977, which is still in use today as the Memorial Hospital Flagler. In 2005, Dr. John co-founded the Flagler County Free Clinic that is still in operation today. Over the years, he devoted his time to the community he loved, serving in civic and political posts. Dr. John served as a Flagler County Commissioner, Mayor of Bunnell and as a member of the Bunnell City Council multiple times over a 50 year period. Additionally, he served as Flagler County School Board Chairman, Flagler County Zoning Board Member, Bunnell Rotary Club President, and is the founder of the Palm Coast Sunrise Rotary Club. Dr. John was instrumental in establishing the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce and the Committee of 100. He founded the Flagler County Medical Society and the local United Way, serving in various capacities over the last 50 years. Dr. John was named Humanitarian of the Year in 2006 by the Florida Hospital Memorial Foundation for his 56 plus years of medical service to Flagler County. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Georgia Canakaris; two children, Ronald Canakaris of Atlanta, John Canakaris Jr. of Tampa; and three grandchildren, Darren Canakaris, Atlanta; Maria and Drew Canakaris of Tampa. In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may be made to Flagler County Free Clinic. A funeral service will be held Saturday 11:00 a.m., December 8, 2012 at St James Episcopal Church in Ormond Beach. Entombment will follow at Flagler Palms Memorial Gardens. For online condolences go to: www.craigflaglerpalms.com. Arrangements are in the care and trust of Craig-Flagler Palms Funeral Home.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Dec. 7, 2012