Obituary for Dr. William "Bill" Wilkey MD
William Draper Wilkey MD MSc FRCP(Canada) MRCP(Edinburgh)
June 16, 1924 – February 7, 2018
Passed peacefully at Chartwell LTC in London on the 7th of February at the age of 93. Much loved by his children Cynthia Wilkey (Ron Wintrobe); Jennifer Wilkey,; John Wilkey (Christine), his grandchildren Curtis (Lisa), Patrick, Byron (Julia), Deirdre, Gillian, great grandchildren Simon, Shaela, Emilia, and Brennon and his sister and brother-in-law Chik and Dick Mair. Predeceased by Noreen, his beloved wife of 56 years, his infant son William Patrick and his brother Jack (Rose) Wilkey. Born in London Ontario in 1924 to Cecile and Wilbert Wilkey, Bill lost his father at a young age and was raised by his mother Cecile through the depression years. A gifted student, he graduated from Western University’s medical school in 1946 at the age of 22. He interned at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver and, as newlyweds, he and Noreen took up positions at the hospital in Whitehorse, Noreen as a nurse and William as the only doctor in the western arctic. Post Graduate work and specialty training continued in Montreal and London UK. He returned to Canada and settled in Woodstock Ontario as the city’s first Specialist in Internal Medicine. Pioneering that specialty included establishing the first Coronary Care Unit at the Woodstock General Hospital. An old school physician, Bill was on call 24/7 for many years of his practice and continued to make house calls until he retired. Bill and Noreen enjoyed a lively social life in Woodstock centered around the Curling Club and the Golf club. But Bill’s particular love was the beauty and challenge of sailing The Georgian Bay in Foxy Lady, their 27-foot sail boat. It was there that he could get respite from the demands of his medical practice and be nurtured by the water, wind, loons and serenity of hidden coves and passageways. He and Noreen were avid travelers, open to what the world had to offer, excited to experience new cultures and travelled to many places with their children and grandchildren including Italy, Africa, Machu Picchu and the Galapagos. An enduring gift to his children has been his example of a life of service, compassion, integrity, respect for education, openness and his belief in the importance of family, friends and fun. Friends and relatives are invited to join the family at the Brock and Visser Funeral Home, 845 Devonshire Ave., Woodstock, 519-539-0004 on Thursday February 15, 2018 from 1:00pm – 2:00 pm, where the memorial service will be held on Thursday at 2:00 pm. Cremation has taken place. If desired, memorial contributions may be considered to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders or the World Wildlife Fund. Online condolences at www.brockandvisser.com
Many thanks to the wonderful staff of Chartwell London LTC, who cared for Bill during his last two years – a vulnerable and difficult time for him - and to the staff of the Woodstock General Hospital for their care while he was still in Woodstock.