WILLIAM LE RICHE

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  • "The University of the Witwatersrand, School of Public..."
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WILLIAM HARDING LE RICHE BSc., MB.ChB., MD., M.P.H., FRCPC, FACP Professor of Epidemiology (emeritus), University of Toronto Born in Dewetsdorp, South Africa on March 21, 1916. Harding died at Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto on December 31, 2010, after 67 years of marriage to his beloved Margaret. Son of Joseph Daniel and Georgina Henrietta Guest (Harding) le Riche and brother to Mervyn (Nan), Francis (Audrey) and Roy (Joyce). Loving father to Jenny (Randy Smye), Robert, Nicole (John Howard), Giles (Rosemary Polczer) and Claire (Alain Rivet). Much loved grandfather to Megan Smye; Jessica (Shiraz Malik), Brendan (Julia Buchanan) and Jocelyn Howard; Grant, James and Michael le Riche; and Philippe, Luc and Pierre Rivet as well as being an uncle, great-uncle and great-great-uncle to many. At the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, he earned B.Sc., M.B.ChB and MD degrees (1936-1949), holding a Carnegie Research Grant, Bureau for Education and Social Research, Pretoria 1937-1939. He was appointed by the Union Health Department to Health Centre Service first at Polela, Natal and later (1945) established the first nonsegregated Health Centre at Knysna, South Africa. While on a Rockefeller fellowship he graduated with a Master of Public Health (cum laude) from Harvard in 1950. In 1952, he came to Canada, working first at the Department of National Health and Welfare in Ottawa and thenat Physicians Services Incorporated in Toronto. In 1959 he joined the University of Toronto, where he later became Professor and Head of Department of Epidemiology and a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine, becoming Professor Emeritus after retirement in 1984. He was awarded the Defries medal for his work in Public Health and granted Honorary Membership of the Canadian Public Health Association. For many years he worked as a general practitioner privately and then at Sunnybrook Hospital. His longtime interest in evolution began in 1936 when he and Dr G. Schepers took the paleontologist, Doctor Robert Broom, to the Sterkfontein caves, South Africa, where Broom made important discoveries of Australopithecus africanus. Other career interests included hospital infections, nutrition, preventive medicine, tropical medicine, international health and environmental degradation. With his family he enjoyed many summers as a camp physician and cottager. Recreational horseback riding ended when he broke his arm in his 70s. In his long retirement he continued to make new friends and engage any and all who liked to debate a wide range of subjects, as well as enjoying theatre, music and St. Timothy's activities with Margaret. An inveterate letter writer, he corresponded globally with family, friends, associates and publications. He had an undulled appetite for learning, and his keen sense of humour never failed to amuse. His passionate intensity, adventurous intellect and steadfast love will be missed by all. A funeral service will be held on Saturday January 8th at 2p.m. at the Church of St. Timothy, 100 Old Orchard Grove, Toronto, followed by a reception in the Church Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Church of St. Timothy (www.sttimothy.ca) or the Canadian Medical Foundation (www.medicalfoundation.ca)

Published in the Toronto Star on Jan. 6, 2011