(News story) Dr. Gerald W. Sutherland, a prominent Toledo-area orthopedic surgeon who specialized in sports medicine and joint replacement, died Thursday in his Holland home. He was 91.
He died of a pulmonary embolism, his son Gary Sutherland said.
Dr. Sutherland retired from active medical practice in 2007 after 43 years in Toledo and Sylvania.
"He loved being an orthopedic surgeon. It was his calling," Mr. Sutherland said.
From 1979 to 1986, Dr. Sutherland was the chairman of the orthopedics department at what then was the Toledo Hospital, where he also chaired the surgery department from 1989 to 1991.
Dr. Sutherland also taught orthopedic surgery at the former Medical College of Ohio from 1980, when he started as an associate professor, until 2007, when he retired as a clinical professor. He then taught part-time for a few years.
Additionally, he was a medical consultant for area sports teams, including the former Toledo Goaldiggers hockey team in the 1970s and the Toledo Mud Hens in the 1980s and 1990s.
He was a team physician for the Hillsdale College varsity hockey team from 1973 to 1978 and the orthopedic consultant to the Bowling Green State University athletics department from 1964 until about 2000.
In 2009, Dr. Sutherland received a 50-year Ohio State Medical Association Award in honor of his 50th anniversary of graduation from medical school.
He never retired completely.
Most recently, he was a medical adviser at the Stroke Life Center in Toledo for about five years until he died.
Mr. Sutherland said he remembers seeing his father's former patients come up to him and thank him for "his excellent care" every time the two of them went out together to sports games or restaurants.
"He was dedicated and loyal to his patients," he said. "He would sit down with them after surgery and talk to them however long it was needed."
Known for his "wonderful" bedside manner, Dr. Sutherland taught his residents how to talk to their patients and listen to them "with respect," his son said.
Dr. Sutherland is quoted in a Jan. 2, 1982, Blade story detailing how the physician brought traditional Scottish New Year's greetings to his patients by donning his kilt and setting out to visit them at the Toledo Hospital, where he offered them a little Scotch whisky.
Born in the United States of Canadian parents who had a Scottish background, he was a former officer in the Canadian army and thus was automatically a member of the Clan Stewart and entitled to wear the Royal Stewart tartan.
A self-described "hard-working, hairy-legged Highland man," he told The Blade his efforts were intended to brighten the faces of patients whose spirits may have been depressed because they were hospitalized for the holiday.
"If you can make them smile, it's worth it," he said.
His professional memberships included the Orthopaedic Guild and the Ohio Orthopaedic Society; he served as a past chairman of both. He was also a fellow at the American College of Surgeons.
In his free time, he enjoyed volunteering.
Dr. Sutherland was instrumental in establishing Sylvania Metro Amateur Hockey League in the early-1970s and was a founding member of the Sylvania Tam-O-Shanter sports complex.
He was especially proud of being a past member of the board of advisers at Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services, a New York-headquartered national nonprofit founded by Retired Army Col. David Sutherland, another of his three sons, Gary Sutherland said.
Dr. Sutherland was a past chairman of the board of directors of AAA Northwest Ohio.
He was born July 10, 1929, in Detroit to Canadian parents who shortly thereafter took him to Canada.
In 1948, he finished Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto and then attended the University of Toronto, graduating in 1952 with a bachelor's degree in physical education, first in his class. While in college, he played center and linebacker for the university's Varsity Blues football team.
Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Dragoons and then served at different times in Germany and Canada until his honorable discharge in 1954 with the rank of captain.
Later that year, he returned to Canada and married Nora Johns.
With her encouragement, his son said, Dr. Sutherland then attended University of Toronto Medical School, graduating in 1958.
He later completed his internship at the Toledo Hospital in 1959 and then did his residency at multiple hospitals in Toronto, completing the program in 1964 at the Hospital for Sick Children before moving to Toledo.
In 1979, he was naturalized as a U.S. citizen and later became a member of the American Legion.
Over the years, he enjoyed skiing and and golfing and was an avid sports fan.
Along with his wife of 66 years, surviving are his daughter, Noralyn Sutherland; sons, Gary, David, and Robert Sutherland; 11 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
Services will be private. Arrangements are by Reeb Funeral Home.
The family suggests tributes to Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services in New York.
This is a news story by Mike Sigov. Contact him at [email protected]
or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.
Published by The Blade on Mar. 22, 2021.