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1932 - 2020
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DONALD W. KILLINGER MD MSc. PhD. FRCPC Endocrinologist Professor Emeritus, University of Western Ontario December 15, 1932 - August 14, 2020 Don died peacefully at home in Toronto at the age of 87 with his wife Patricia (Trish) Leahy by his side. He will be forever defined by his love for his family, meaningful friendships and his complete dedication to his profession. Don earned his medical degree at the University of Western Ontario in 1957 and MSc. in Biochemistry in 1959 followed by his PhD. in steroid biochemistry at McGill University and his Fellowship (FRCP) in 1967. He became a full Professor of Medicine in 1989 at the University of Toronto and was dedicated to his research related to the metabolism of steroid hormones in breast carcinoma cells and adipose tissue. Don's teaching and clinical practice at the Wellesley Hospital focused on pituitary and adrenal disorders and he was the Medical Advisor to The Canadian Addison Society for over 20 years. In 1998, as Professor of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario, he was appointed Chief of Medicine at St. Joseph's Health Centre in London, Ontario and continued his research and teaching until his retirement in 2003. Returning to Toronto, Don continued to provide exemplary and tender care to patients in clinical practice until his recent precipitous death, after a brief struggle with Lymphoma. Don was born in London, Ontario to parents, Rev. Clarence J. Killinger and Olivia Schaus. Don's circle of love began with Barbara Henderson and their three children, Kathy, Michael (partner Mike Jackson) and Suzanne who passed in 2000 with grandson, Cuyler. Don was predeceased by his older brother, Richard (wife Dorothy). Remembered by the Henderson, Simpson, Pepers and Killinger families. With his wife, Trish Leahy, they shared many special years together and her children Jules and John (wife Marta), became his family, with grandchildren James and Charlotte completing Don's world. Remembered by the Coehlo, McNamara, Tress and Leahy families. Beyond his deep love for his entire family, Don upheld and enjoyed loyal friendships throughout his life, leaving positive lasting footprints everywhere he went. Don's love of sport began as a baseball player followed by Captain for the Western Varsity football team in 1956, affectionately known as "Deke" by many since then. A keen and natural sportsman across the board, who loved tennis both on and off court as well as skiing. Always a gentleman, his temperament was thoughtful and accommodating blended with good humour and compassion, with no trace of arrogance or superiority. His kindness, humility and approachability influenced others throughout his life, both personally and professionally. The emptiness left behind by his loss will be indescribable. The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Ken Logue and Dr. Dale Dotten, for their nourishing compassionate care and the excellent support services provided by Sandra Store at LHIN. Don's memorial service will be on September 1, 2020. Although attendance is limited, the family warmly welcomes you to email them at with requests to attend the service or join the online streaming. Personal memories and messages will be gratefully appreciated by the family, online at A donation to your charity of choice, would be a fitting memory.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Aug. 22 to Aug. 26, 2020.
No events have been scheduled at this time. Check back later or contact the funeral home for more information.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Morley Bedford Funeral Services
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21 entries
October 26, 2020
My sincere, albiet late, condolences go out to the family. Dr K, as I called him, was the most compassionate and caring Dr I have ever met? We hit it off immediately and I always looked forward to my appointments with him. Not many patients can say that. He will truly be missed by all. He was one in a million.
Donalda Greer
October 6, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. Dr Killinger was my endocrinologist and I was deeply saddened to hear of his passing . He was one of the most caring, dedicated doctors I have ever met! I recently lost my only brother and my brother in law so I can sympathize with the pain & loss you must be feeling . However, I hope you all feel some consolation in realizing how truly blessed you were to have had someone so special in your life. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to all his family & friends
Mirella Simone
September 25, 2020
Grove of 100 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
John Booth
September 16, 2020
I just heard the sad news about Dr Killinger
I was a patient of his for about 10yrs or more & what a kind & gentle soul
I will never forget your Urgency to help me with my diabetes you will be truly missed ..

God Bless & Thank-you for taking care of me ..

Brenda Bolton
Brenda Bolton
September 4, 2020
Dr. Killinger was a wonderful person. He was a very kind and patient and caring doctor. I was his patient for quite a few years. I always looked forward to my visits with him. My deepest condolences to his wife and family.
Linda De Sario
September 2, 2020
My heart felt condolences to you your family at this time. Dr. Killinger was a well respected and knowledgeable Doctor. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Gina Fargnoli Crystal
September 1, 2020
Wonderful compassionate dr. Will be missed
Myrtle Souther
September 1, 2020
Dr Killenger was the best, most understanding Dr I have had for my diabetes, my wife and I are so very sad to get the letter today to tell us of his death. May he rest in peace. Richard and Marian Kennedy
Richard Kennedy
August 31, 2020
I remember Don with the greatest respect and admiration. He was an excellent example to younger staff members like myself. He was not intimidating, very approachable and an inspiration to a junior member of the staff. The metabolic/clinical investigative unit at the Wellesley was an example of scholarly research/investigation which is sadly missing today. On the human side he was just a nice, thoughtful human being who despite being gifted in intellect well beyond the average still treated everyone with unlimited respect and politeness. I would like to extend my sympathy to all the family and especially Trish who “completed” him over these last many years
Janet Roscoe
August 31, 2020
Deepest condolences to whole family of Dr. Killinger.
May he rest in peace and stay in our thoughts forever.
In loving memory of a wonderful doctor;
his patient Jerzy Goc
Jerzy Goc
August 29, 2020
It was so sad to hear of the passing of Dr Killinger my mentor dating back to the Wellesley Hospital 30 years ago. He became my friend later and he had so many friends. A great teacher who Me taught a lot about Endocrine disorders. His sense of humour and his warmth cannnot be matched by any teacher Or other clinician. I did go finish my specialty training in Endocrinology. He was a true humanitarian and didn’t have a negative bone in his body. He was an amazing man.He was well liked and respected by his colleagues and patients. HE will be sorely missed by all and especially me. My deepest condolences to his family.

John Sigalas

John Sigalas
August 28, 2020
Don was one of those rare people who always had time for you and really listened, he will be missed.
Donna May
August 27, 2020
A dedicated physician excellent educator and a kind friend He will be greatly missed
Aliya Khan
August 25, 2020
I first knew Don when we worked side-by-side in Western's biochemistry research lab under Dr. Harold Stewart. We solved some problems together and also had some good laughs. I recognized then what a kind, generous, and hard working person he was. I got to know him even better many years later when he returned to Western as Chief of Medicine at St. Joseph's Hospital and I had the same position at University Hospital. We agreed on most things and my observation of that rather difficult period is that Don believed in doing the right thing even if it was unpopular with some. I was delighted when my daughter Charlotte decided to train in Endocrinology, and he was a fine example for her to follow in teaching and patient care. She eventually bought his charming house when he retired from Western and returned to Toronto. He was a great friend, caring physician and role model for many. The family have our deepest sympathy.
John (Jack) McDonald
John McDonald
August 25, 2020
We first met Don over 50 years ago when we moved to Toronto for my fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism. He was Dr. Robert Volpé's colleague at the Wellesley hospital, and I was extremely fortunate to train with both. Don's compassion was demonstrated by one still tangible act of kindness when he brought in the above home-made stuffed mouse with appropriate Western University colors, after Barb delivered our daughter 6 weeks early. It meant we could not cuddle or hug her for at least a month until she reached a certain weight. Don suggested we could cuddle the mouse in the meantime. We still have the mouse, do not cuddle it anymore but it does bring back wonderful memories of a gentleman we were privileged to know. Our thoughts and prayers are with Trish and the Killinger and Leahy families at this very difficult time. Merrill and Barb Edmonds
Merrill and Barb Edmonds
August 24, 2020
I met Don about 15 years ago on his usual walk between seeing patients. As we both became older, we had enlarging reasons for more frequent encounters. I was not aware of Don's distinguished academic career nor his sporting prowess. However, it was clearly obvious that he was a physician with great humility and kindness who provided exemplary patient care.

All his colleagues at Etobicoke have been impacted by Don and we will miss him. We wish his family courage and peace during this time of mourning. Please accept our deepest sympathies for the loss of this exceptional gentleman.
Peter Wong
August 24, 2020
Don first came into my life 45 years ago in 1975 as my teacher and mentor, as a resident in endocrinology at the Wellesly Hospital. It was an honour and privilege to work under him.
In addition to his great intellect and teaching abilities, he was a true "mensch". We had maintained contact during endocrine rounds and it was with great sadness that I heard of his passing.
My sincere condolences to you Trish and all your family.

Marty Rauchwerger
August 24, 2020
All good memories. I was raised in North London and attended Ryerson, two blocks from the Henderson household. Barbara was older, but I had a serious crush on her little sister Marion. I was aware of Don as a football star, like Barbara's brother Murray, as well as his later career in medicine. Many years passed and then, to my delight, he accepted the job as Chief of Medicine at St. Joseph's Hospital in London. I was even happier when he occupied an office across the hall from me. It was then that I came to appreciate not only his knowledge and skill as a physician, but also his compassion for others -- patients and colleagues. He demonstrated that he could navigate the dangerous waters of hospital and university politics, but I suspect he was never happier when he moved on to the next stage of his life. A true gentleman and a fine physician.
John Thompson
August 23, 2020
I first met Don during the period where we were members of Endocrinology committee of the Medical Research Council of Canada 30 years ago. Ever since, we maintained regular interactions while meeting at various scientific meetings in Canada or at The Endocrine Society meetings in US. We always enjoyed discussing recent developments in science and complex cases of adrenal or pituitary diseases that our patients presented. Don was always very enthusiatic, curious and eager to offer best care to his patients. As a member of the leadership of the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism, it was a real pleasure to recognize Don's major contributions to research, education and patient care trough the attribution of the highest recignition of the CSEM the Robert Volpe award to Dr Donald Killinger.

We will miss him deeply and I wish to express my deepest regrets to him family and close colleagues.

André Lacroix, MD, FCAHS
Chairperson, International Society of Endocrinology
André Lacroix
August 23, 2020
Dr. Killinger was always a kind, humble and sensitive Dr when he was talking to me regarding efforts to improve patient care for his clients. He was open suggestions made by other health care professionals. The staff of the Diabetes Education Centre , as well as all the patient's he looked after, will very much miss him.
Lucia D'Alessandro
August 22, 2020
I have had the honour, privilege and joy of sharing an endocrine practice with Don for the last twenty-four years. I will never forget how our partnership began. I had been in practice for eight years and was pregnant with my third child. I was desperately looking for a locum for my maternity leave as there was no paid leave in those days. I had called Don, who was my mentor and Director of the Endocrine Training Program, to see if he knew of any trainee who could help. In his typical understated way, he answered, No new grad. But would I do? The phone dropped out of my hand. Not only did he do the locum but he ended up staying. His act of kindness underscored to me the importance that he placed on the love of family and devotion to medicine. In my time with Don, I have learnt as much about humanity as endocrinology. Our staff and patients miss him dearly.
To Trish and all of his family - our hearts go out to you and hope that you find some comfort in knowing what a positive influence he has been on our lives.
Min Wong
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