John Wilmar Dueck was ushered into heaven on March 8, 2010 at Chilliwack General Hospital at 76 years of age after a valiant battle with Multiple Sclerosis. We will really miss him.
He was born on November 18, 1933 in a house on South Sumas Road in Greendale, BC to immigrants from the Ukraine. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to Aldergrove where he grew up on the family farm.
At the age of 15, John made a sincere and enduring decision to commit his life to Jesus. That early decision influenced his entire outlook on life. He was fascinated by the design of the human body and attributed those intricacies to God’s hand. He chose the medical profession out of a desire to help and care for people.
After graduating from MEI in Abbotsford, John went to UBC where he earned his BA in Science. It was at UBC that he met and fell in love with his wife of 49 years, Winnifred Pauls. They were married after his first year of medical school. John graduated in 1962 with his medical degree and interned at Vancouver General Hospital. Immediately after graduation, he spent three years in India working at a leprosy hospital. This experience was a catalyst for him to pursue a surgical residency.
He began his private surgical practice in Chilliwack, BC in 1970, joining Dr. Henry Pauls and later partnering with Dr. Ben Sawer. In 1983, he completed his specialty in vascular surgery and brought that service to Chilliwack Hospital. Along with this, he was instrumental in bringing colonoscopy and laparoscopy to Chilliwack. John was a clinical instructor with the UBC Family Medicine Residency program and was a well-loved and skilled teacher. John was known for his compassion for patients, his surgical expertise, his sharp dress and his respect for the nursing staff.
John had a quick wit and dry sense of humour. He valued family, always supporting his children’s endeavours, and ready to help with any science project that required dissection of rodents or pathology specimens. He enjoyed being involved at church and formed lasting friendships through Boy’s Brigade, Alliance Youth Bike Trips, Discovery Class and leading Bible Studies.
John’s concern for others went beyond their physical needs and this prompted him to bring Burden Bearers Counselling Service to Chilliwack. John loved to bike on Sunday afternoon, children in tow, off to the Agassiz bridge. He was an avid bird watcher, gardener and arborist. He loved photography and his dark room. He relished summers at Hornby Island, vacations with Win in Hawaii and traveling to far away places like Thailand.
In 1996, John was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis that cut short his medical practice. This was a difficult transition for John as he gradually lost his mobility. This was a true test of his relationship with God. Through it all, we saw his gratitude, hope and strength to keep going. He found joy in his family, friends and church. Thanks to the tremendous support from his wife, he was able to remain at home through the course of his illness.
He leaves to mourn the love of his life, Winnifred, 3 children and spouses, Michele (Brian) Driedger, Sharon (Gary) Simpson, Brad (Kirsti) Dueck and 11 grandchildren: Allie, Stephanie, Daniel and Emily Driedger, Kate, Matthew, Jonathan and Bennett Simpson, Kassa, Liam and Aliza Dueck. He is survived by his brothers Henry (Helga), Vic (Chris) and sisters Helga (Neil) Voth and Eleanor (Ken) Mulroy along with many neices and nephews. He was predeceased by his son, Brian (1988) and his parents, Henry and Elizabeth Dueck.
As an expression of sympathy, contributions in John Dueck’s name may be made to the MS Society of Canada or the Alliance Global Advance Fund.
Our family extends a sincere thank you to John’s caregivers – Cherry-Lin Carambas, Joanne Milner, Sam Selby, Hilde Spenst and Kim New. We also thank John’s Care Group from the Chilliwack Alliance Church for their friendship and spiritual care.
Online condolences can be left at www.hendersonsfunerals.com