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Obituary for Dr Frank Loomer

It is with profound sadness that Linda, Michael and Kate say goodbye to their beloved husband and father, Frank Loomer, who passed away on April 15 at the Royal Jubilee Hospital after a lengthy and courageous battle with amyloidosis.

Born in Edmonton, son of Hymie and Rezelle Loomer (deceased). Frank will be greatly missed by his brothers, Allan (Ava) and Neil (Sharon), as well as nieces, nephews and cousins across the country.

Moving from Edmonton to Vancouver in 1959, Frank attended the Vancouver Talmud Torah. At his elementary school graduation, his Grade 7 teacher apparently said, "Frank's idea of light reading is Einstein's Theory of Relativity!" and that did not change throughout his life! He went to Eric Hamber High School, then attended UBC, where he graduated with his B.Sc in Biochemistry. He received his MD in 1977. He completed his residency in psychiatry at Shaughnessy Hospital, which at that time was the Veterans' Hospital. His time there likely sparked his interest in geriatrics, where he found the patients and their life stories endlessly fascinating. He married Linda in 1976, and they moved to Victoria in 1987, where Michael was born just a month later. Six years afterwards, his beautiful Kate was born. 

Frank initially worked in private practice, but he so missed the hospital setting that he moved to Royal Jubilee Hospital as a consultant in 1988. The following year he was asked to pioneer a multi-disciplinary, in-patient geriatric psychiatry program at the Memorial Pavilion, the only such unit to serve the Greater Victoria region. The program continues today, now a resource to all Vancouver Island. For a time he was Division Chief for Geriatric Psychiatry, but he returned to general consultation at RJH, where he remained for the rest of his career. 

Frank's patients would describe him as kind and attentive, and his colleagues as knowledgeable and compassionate. He described himself as a competent guy who cared.

He was a student of life, placing a high value on education. His interests were varied. He believed that ultimately "everything is physics" and loved to argue that point with his children and their friends. He was a passionate student of history, and it is sad for all of us that he will not be able to pursue a degree in Medieval History, as he had planned to do in retirement. 

In his lifetime Frank's search for personal enlightenment led him to deeply explore many faiths and doctrines - from his Judaism through TM, Unitarianism, and finally to his study of Buddhism. All that he learned gave him insight and peace on his toughest journey. 

Due to illness, Frank retired in December 2010. Always the optimist, he fought harder and for much longer than any of his family or physicians thought possible. 

Linda, Michael and Kate wish to thank the team of physicians and health care professionals who cared for Frank with skill, care and kindness. Special thanks must go to Drs. Donna Doyle and Bob Penner, whom he liked to kid, and who were 'always there' for him.

Also to be thanked are our many dear friends who supported our family during Frank's illness. Each in their way made our lives easier. We feel blessed. 

Frank will be remembered by family and friends in the chapel at St. Michaels University School, 3400 Richmond Road, on Saturday, May 10 at 2PM, with a reception following.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) or the Alzheimer's Society of B.C.

Published in The Times Colonist from Apr. 25 to Apr. 27, 2014
Retrieved from on May 30, 2019: