February 12, 1913 – May 20, 2010
“A Quality Man”
After a wonderful life filled with memories of much happiness and love, John passed away peacefully on Thursday May 20 at the age of 97 years following a brief illness.
The son of Howard and Harriet Birrell, John was born in Toronto on February 12, 1913. He graduated as a Medical Doctor from the University of Toronto in 1939, receiving his F.R.C.P. prior to serving as a Medical Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. Dr. Birrell became a highly respected paediatrician, practicing for thirty years with the Calgary Associate Clinic. After retirement, he and Dorothy travelled extensively, spending winters in California and Victoria. They became residents of Victoria for several years, acquiring many wonderful friendships there but moved back to Calgary to be close to their family. For the past two years, Dorothy and John have been residents at Canyon Meadows Retirement Residence where he enjoyed many new friendships with the staff and other residents who enjoyed his playful and fun personality traits. He truly could light up a room!
John had numerous hobbies, talents, and interests. He has left a legacy that includes beautifully faceted jewellery and free form lapidary, a treasured book (co-authored with Dorothy) entitled “You and I” which chronicles our family history and the seventy-three wonderful years they spent together, and “Shades of Gray,” a book featuring a collection of his black and white photography. He was the founding member of the Hippocratic Oath Big Band, now known as The Oath. John was a member of the Foothills Camera Club, receiving many awards for his photographs, the Calgary Lapidary Club, and the Calgary Faceters Guild. He was proud to be the founder of the Vancouver Island Faceters Guild.
To his grateful and loving family, there has never been a kinder, more dedicated man. We are truly blessed to cherish many fond and special memories of him, which bring us peace and helps comfort us at this time.
“So to sweet romance
There is just one answer
You and I”
John is survived by Dorothy, his loving wife of sixty-seven years, sons David (Leslie), Doug (Simonne), daughters Susan (Andy Lockhart) and Maralee (Gary Pozzo). John’s life was filled with the joy of ten special grandchildren; Gregg (Ruthie), Karen (Jay Fjestad), Janet (Chris Scase), Renee (Ryan Duckworth), Robert, Cathy Lockhart Roberts, Stephen (Kerry Lockhart), Kevin (Andrea Pozzo), Michael (Renee Pozzo) and Kent Pozzo. John is also survived by thirteen wonderful great grandchildren, and his sister Eileen Rhamey and family. At John’s request, no service will be held. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If you wish to make a donation in his memory, please direct it to the charity of your choice.
In living memory of John Birrell, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences