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Born: Feb 10, 1928

Date of Passing: Jul 04, 2005

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DR. LAWRENCE JOHN STEPHEN Peacefully, after a long and courageous battle with Cancer, Lawrence (Lawrie) Stephen passed away on July 4, 2005 in the arms of his loving wife Betty. As were his wishes, Lawrie passed away at his home in Dauphin, Manitoba surrounded by family and friends. Born on February 10, 1928 in Toronto, ON, Lawrie was predeceased by his mother, Jenepher and father John. Lawrie is survived by the love of his life, Betty (Dicks), and his children Diane Hollinshead (Ashley Finlayson), Edmonton; Dale Rolston (Barry), Victoria; Doug (Jackie), Winnipeg; Dawn Cain (Norrie Foote), Victoria and special "daughter" Ina Falkenham (Eric), Calgary. Lawrie will also be lovingly remembered by 13 grandchildren: Lawrence Hollinshead (Maureen), Stephen, Graham (Allison), and Andrew (Emily) Gidden, Michael and Simon Rolston, Douglas (AJ) Stephen (Colleen), Douglas (LJ) Stephen, Katie Keats, Dylan Keats, Lindsay Cain, Kristin Cain, and Tanya Falkenham. He is also survived by his sister Helen, brother Clark (Sylvia) and their families. Lawrie will also be fondly remembered by many cousins, nieces and nephews. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrie’s early years were spent in Winnipeg and Dauphin. He met Betty in Grade 7, and the rest they say "is history" for these childhood sweethearts. Summers at Clear Lake were filled with adventure as Lawrie worked as many as four jobs; Free Press paper agent, Scott Fruit agent, ticket agent at The Roller Rink and Danceland and numerous years as lifeguard at the Main Beach. Lawrie attended the University of Manitoba where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree majoring in Biology. After 1 1/2 years spent in the North at Great Slave Lake as a fish Biologist, Lawrie returned to University in the Faculty of Medicine. Upon graduation from the University of Manitoba Medical School in 1955, where he won the Sara Meltzer prize for highest academic standings through his first four years of study, he completed a year of Residency in Family Medicine. Lawrie then moved his family to Dauphin where he set up practice with his father-in-law, Dr. R.E. Dicks and Dr. W.G. Ritchie. His very first patient was a dog! Dr. Lawrie Stephen spent his entire professional career in the Dauphin area lending his passion for his craft to all who knew him. During his busy medical career he not only made numerous friends of the thousands of patients he served but also those through his professional associations. Lawrie served as President of the Manitoba Medical Association as well as holding various positions as a member of the Board of the Canadian Medical Association. His main focus with the national body was as a member of the Physicians Recruitment Board. Lawrie was a Fellow of the Royal College of Family Physicians, President of the Manitoba Chapter of the College of Family Physicians, and an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba Medical College where he initiated the practice of fourth year medical students spending time in a rural setting engaged in family practice. Lawrie was a co-founder of the Dauphin Medical Clinic, and was instrumental in bringing the "Cardiac Refit Program" to the Dauphin area. After entering semi-retirement, Lawrie also spent time as one of the 'flying doctors' with the Manitoba Dept. of Northern Affairs servicing communities in many northern areas and in particular, his special place at God’s Lake Narrows. He completed his career as the Vice-President for Medical Services for the Parkland Regional Health Authority. Lawrie believed in the potential of his community and served it with zeal. He sat as a member of the Dauphin/Ochre School Board, was a founding member of the Dauphin Legion Pipe Band; a representative for the Parkland Region on the Board of the Manitoba Naturalists’ Society; a founding member of the Dauphin Dolphins SCUBA club, co-founding the Annual Child’s Lake Spear Fishing competition; and was a member of the Manitoba Underwater Council for 35 years. Lawrie loved his Masonic Order. He was a longtime member of Vermillion Lodge No. 68, serving as its Master in 1965. He was honoured to have been asked to sit as District Deputy Grand Master of District 9 and was installed into that office in 2002. Lawrie was also a past President of the Parkland District Khartum Shriners joyfully participating in his unit duties of the Oriental Band. St. Paul’s Anglican Church has always been a big part of Betty and Lawrie’s life in Dauphin. Lawrie spent numerous years serving on the vestry ensuring a vibrant environment within which to worship. Lawrie was a truly gifted photographer, spending many hours taking award winning photographs of animals, birds, and the outdoors in general. He was very proud of the fact that one of his pictures hangs in the national office of the CMA in Ottawa. The CMA also used that same picture in one of their calendars. His greatest delight was when he had the opportunity to share his many slides through presentations to various community groups. His last "very special" slide presentation was made to his family from his bed in February. His love of the outdoors carried over to all aspects of his life. Not only did he enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and camping but when he turned 53 he participated in his first of three Manitoba marathons, where he completed the full marathon each time. He would hike for hours in the Riding Mountains and loved to fish the lakes and streams all around Dauphin. As well as with his "Northern family" in God’s Lake Narrows. Bird watching was another pastime that Lawrie turned into a profession. Reading books, listening to tapes, there were not many times you could stump Lawrie’s expertise. On field trips with friends, he could be lost for hours doing counts and surveys. After many years as "Quincy" on his CB, Lawrie became an avid Ham Radio operator. For years one could find VE4 CO at his radio, skipping his way around the world with his many radio friends. "His signal is silent." Lawrie and Betty travelled extensively with the Wally Byam Caravan Club. Along their travels Lawrie continued to promote the beauty and talent of Manitoba and in particular Dauphin. For years the Airstream trailers would arrive in Dauphin for the National Ukrainian Festival Rally. In 1994, as the International President of the club, he worked extensively with both the Federal and Provincial Ministries of Tourism, as well as the City of Brandon to bring 5000 people and 2500 Airstream trailers to the Brandon area for their annual International Rally. This small "city" for a month was the culmination of a great year for Lawrie and Betty. As a father, he enthusiastically involved his children in life experiences whenever he could. Whether hiking and camping, fishing or swimming, travelling or vacationing Lawrie endeavoured to instilled in them his zest for life. Betty and Lawrie ensured they gave guidance to their children so that they could live their dreams. Lawrie was a loving father, husband , and friend who wanted the best for his family, friends and patients. He was a 'doer', who brought quality and excellence to rural practice and community life. The family would like to thank all of the wonderful souls who helped Lawrie through this last journey over the past four years. Drs. Paul Galbraith and Andrew Maksymiuk in Winnipeg, Dr. Mike Penrose in Dauphin; Debbie and her super staff at CancerCare in the Dauphin Hospital; Barb and the ever respectful and caring staff from Home Care Palliative Care these last number of months; and all of the ever so special friends who were there for Betty and Lawrie during this time. Funeral service will be held in the Dauphin United Church on Thursday, July 14 at 2:00 p.m. The Rt. Rev, Malcolm Harding of the Anglican Church officiating. Flowers are gratefully declined. If friends so desire they may make a donation to either the Dauphin General Hospital Foundation specifically to CancerCare or Palliative Care or to the St. Paul's Anglican Church Memorial Fund. This is his testament. May God be with him. The Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Service is entrusted with the funeral arrangements. 1-204-638-4110.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 09, 2005

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • To the wonderful family of Dr. L. Stephen. I would like to share my condolences to you all during this most difficult time. I am a friend of the family through Dale and Dawn. They are a wonderful tribute to their parents as they were always there for them in the latter months. May you all remember the wonderful years that your 'husband/father' gave and shared with you. - Posted by: Jeanne O'Neill (Acquaintance) on: Jul 26, 2005

  • Respected by all, Brother "Lawrie" will be missed by all who knew him, may he enjoy the fruits of a well spent life with the Supreme Master of us all in the Celestial Lodge above - Posted by: John C. James (Friend) on: Jul 10, 2005

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