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Dr. Noel Doig remembered for service to profession

John Noel Doig

Dec. 6, 1927 – Jan. 12, 2018

His family regrets to announce the passing of Noel Doig, peacefully at home after a brief terminal illness.

Survived by his beloved wife Joan (née Dickinson); daughter Anne (Bob Cowan), sons Mark (Kim Hargreaves), Peter (Terrie Robbins), Robert (Andrea Klassen), and Christopher “Chip” (Suzanne Joanis) Doig; grandchildren Rob (Sarah Nordick), Alison, John (Berkeley Donkervoort), Peter (Leo Perlinger), Patrick and Alexander “Sandy” Cowan; Jenna (Brian Meli), Tim (Holly Hooper), Angela (Fadi Shlah), and Carly (Brett Baron) Doig; Jennifer (Mark Young), Andrew (Miranda Robb) and Lindsay Doig; Kathleen, Michael, and Meghan Doig; Lauren, Benjamin, Stuart and Stephen Doig; and by great-grandchildren Natasha and Luke Cowan and Scarlett Meli. He is also survived by his much-loved brother, Clive Doig (Julia), his brother-in-law, Harry Dickinson (Julie), and extended family in England, Australia and the U.S.A.

Predeceased by his parents Allan John Doig and Jessie (Ericson) Doig, his stepmother Janet (Ogle) Doig, his sister Jennifer (Doig) Williams and brother-in-law, Tony Williams, infant grandson, Cameron Doig, and infant granddaughter, Shannon Doig, and parents-in-law Mabel (Pockley) and Frank Dickinson.

Noel was a well-known and dedicated family physician. Having moved to Saskatchewan from England in 1958, he established a rural practice in the village of Hawarden where he practised for three years. Noel and Joan moved to Saskatoon in 1961, where Noel practised first with Dr. Sam Landa. He was later joined by Dr. Joe Golumbia and others including his daughter, Anne. Many of Noel’s original patients from Hawarden and their extended families still attend the practice, now known as City Centre Family Physicians. The loyalty of those patients is a testament to the care and compassion shown to them by Dr. Doig throughout his 40 years in practice.

Noel was a respected contributor to his profession. He served on innumerable committees and boards at the local, provincial and national levels. He was chief of staff of Saskatoon City Hospital, chaired the Discipline Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan for many years, and was the chair of the Ethics Committee of the Canadian Medical Association.

Noel most valued his long service to the Saskatchewan Medical Association, and particularly after his retirement in 1998, his ongoing work with its Member Advisory Committee through which he was able to provide support and advice to colleagues. As part of his legacy to the profession in Saskatchewan, Noel wrote a history of the 1962 medicare crisis. Setting the Record Straight, published in 2012, is his uncompromising account of the principles behind the profession’s resistance to the Medical Care Insurance Act. In that, as in his clinical practice, it was all about the patients. Noel received honorary life memberships in the CMA, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, and the Canadian Medical Protective Association.

Together with Sam Landa, Noel was one of Saskatoon’s first “sports medicine” physicians. Sam and Noel served for many years as the team physicians for the Saskatoon Hilltops, as track physicians for the Knights of Columbus Indoor Games, and as physicians for the 1971 Canada Winter Games. Their sons’ participation in competitive swimming introduced Noel and Joan to parental involvement in the Saskatoon Goldfins Swim Club as swim officials and as directors of the club. Noel was a divisional surgeon with St. John’s Ambulance, and in 1977 was granted the Dignity of a Serving Brother of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, by its Prior, Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

All those who knew Noel knew him as a highly principled and deeply moral person. He was devoted to his beloved Joan, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Noel was a practising Anglican and long-term member of the parish of All Saints, who lived the tenets of his faith. He will be deeply missed.

His family would like to thank the staff of Stonebridge Crossing Retirement Community, Palliative Home Care, Dr. B. Brunet and nurse Elaine at the Saskatoon Cancer Clinic, and Drs. S. Goluboff and F. Wardell for their devoted care of Noel and their support of Joan and the family.

The family gratefully declines the gift of flowers. Memorial donations may be made to STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society), the Medical Benevolent Fund of the Saskatchewan Medical Association, the St. Cecilia Fund at All Saints Church, or a charity of the donor’s choice.

A requiem mass will be celebrated at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, 816 Spadina Cres. East on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at 2 p.m., with refreshments to follow in the cathedral church hall. Private interment of cremated remains in the Columbarium at St. John’s. Funeral arrangements in care of Saskatoon Funeral Home. 

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