Dr Roger Ball died at Hospice House in Kelowna at the age of 70. Because his cancer likewise did not survive, Roger declared the duel a draw.
Roger leaves behind his beloved wife of 41 years, Dr Barbara Massey, sons Graeme and Kevin, and numerous relatives.
Roger began his extensive education many years prior when he attended the University of Toronto. This was followed by undergraduate studies in such faraway places as Malta, Vienna, and Rome, then back to the University of Toronto Medical School and graduation in 1963.
Roger then began his medical career as a health officer in Newfoundland and Labrador, working in the outports of Gander, Come By Chance, and Stephenville Crossing. It was in these remote places that Roger developed his love for kayaking and associated water sports.
Roger returned to Toronto for further postgraduate studies, and while there he met his future wife, Barbara. In 1968 they ventured to Kelowna and Roger joined the Knox Clinic, leaving in 1973 to enter into private practice.
Roger epitomized the concept of professionalism. He was dedicated not just to his patients but to his profession as well. He was one of the early leaders in student education and was a student placement leader. He placed medical students with various physicians in Kelowna, and he and Barbara arranged accommodation and transportation for them. They could often be found at 9 in the morning up changing beds in the old “nurses” building for the incoming crop.
Roger was never content with the status quo and embraced the acquisition of new clinical skills. He became one of a coterie of family physicians trained in the art of flexible sigmoidoscopic exams.
He also became a skilled surgical assistant and was happy at the beck and call of the respiratory surgical service.
In recognition of his exemplary standard of practice, his teaching skill, and his dedication to the profession as a whole, Roger was presented with an Award of Excellence by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC in 2007.
However, all was not seriousness in Roger’s life. He was an accomplished bagpiper. As a longtime member of the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Canadian Legion he had the honour of piping before royalty on at least two occasions in Japan and in Holland. He also piped at my 65th birthday, which I consider to be of equal importance!
It was a privilege to have been his family physician for many years and an honor to have been with him at the time of his demise.
Dr Roger John Tudor Ball will be dearly missed by his family, colleagues, patients, and many friends.
—James M. Tisdale, MD
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