Dr. Douglas Bocking


BOCKING, Dr. Douglas...

On May 9, 2020, 4 weeks before his 100th birthday, Douglas Bocking, CM, MD, FRCPC, FACP, CFPC (Honorary), Professor Emeritus Western University, died peacefully with family at his side, due to complications following a broken hip. Predeceased by his parents, W. Reginald and Leona Bocking of St. Thomas, twin brother Jack (1948), sister Margaret Edworthy (2002) and wife of 66 years, Vivian (Dixon).  Loving father of Barbara (John Thompson), Bruce (Elizabeth van Ryn), Kenneth (Dianne, predeceased 2015), Alan (Barbara), Donald (Anne Morawetz) and Robert (Barbara Souther). Loving grandfather of David  (Lecia), Heather (Brad), Kristen (Jeff), Jennifer (Ben), Lauren (Wade), David (Sarah), Emma van Ryn, Andrew (Andrea), Steven (Candice), Kathryn (Nathan), Natalie (Stephen), Jacqueline (Christopher), Kimberley (Scotty), Christopher (Bianca), Graham (Laura ), Laura (Nick), Tara (Elad), Bryce (Richelle). Dearly loved by 26 great-grandchildren, Carolyn Bocking, cousins, nieces and nephews. Doug will  be greatly missed by his dear friend Ruth Drake.

A graduate of the St. Thomas Collegiate Institute, Doug entered the Doctor of Medicine program at the University of Western Ontario in 1938.  Because of World War II, the class of Meds '44 was accelerated with graduation in August 1943 (Meds 43B). Following a 9 month internship at the Montreal General Hospital, where he met Vivian, Doug joined the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve as a Surgeon Lieutenant. After the war, Doug completed his postgraduate training at the Montreal General Hospital followed by 2 years of General Practice at the Smith Clinic, Hawkesbury, Ontario. From 1950-52, Doug did further postgraduate training at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston and then returned to London to practice Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at UWO in 1965 and remained as Dean until 1978. This was followed by the position of Vice-President, Health Sciences until 1984 and then serving as Vice-Provost Health Sciences until 1987.

Doug had a passion for the outdoors, was an avid birder and canoeist. He was the Founding President of the London Canoe Club and was instrumental in having the Thames River declared a Canadian Heritage River by the Governments of Ontario and Canada in 2000. He was the Founding Chair of the Board of Directors for Fanshawe College and served on numerous volunteer Boards including the Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation, YMCA of London, and the Westminster Institute for Ethics and Human Values. He was also the Founding Chair of the Board of the London Intercommunity Health Centre. In 1999, Doug was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to Health Care and Community Service.

In addition to his volunteer and professional contributions, Doug was a loving and proud father of his many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He never missed an opportunity to recognize them for their accomplishments. Sunday dinners, always boisterous with four generations around the table, typically ending with Vivian's homemade pie and the Bocking sons, led by Doug, cleaning up and doing the dishes. Often, Doug would regale the family with a new joke, invoking laughter long before the punch line because he could never tell the joke without chuckling himself.  Even at 99+, he always remembered a joke!

At age 94, Doug decided to enhance his fitness level and joined a local gym. He valued physical fitness and ran with Terry Fox when he went through London in 1980. Doug continued to participate in the Terry Fox Run for years even though he was forced to walk in his final few years. Bird watching, hiking and canoeing at the family cottage near Torrance, in Muskoka, were highlights each summer.  

The family would like to express their appreciation to Soumaly Chaleunsavath for her compassionate care provided to Doug. Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.  As an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to St. Joseph's Health Care London Foundation, London Health Sciences Foundation, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry or to a charity of your choice. Arrangements entrusted with A. Millard George Funeral Home, 519-433-5184.  Online condolences, memories and photographs shared at www.amgfh.com