Obituary of Robert Ian Gordon Brown
Anyone who was close to Bob Brown knew that the accomplished cardiologist loved old cheddar, wailing guitars and Muskoka. To Bob, Muskoka was more than just cottage country; it’s where his family had deep roots, where he spent every summer of his life and where he chose, in semi-retirement, to work remotely until the first frost. So in June, when he learned he had advanced cancer and little time left, he resolved, to no one’s surprise, to spend it on Acton Island. One week after leaving his cottage for the last time, Robert Ian Gordon Brown passed away October 26, in London, Ontario, with family by his side. Born in Toronto on Feb. 4 1954, Bob was the second of five children of the late Ken and Irene Brown. His father was also a cardiologist and co-founded the world’s first hospital ward specializing in post-coronary care. Bob realized he shared his father’s passion for heart care soon after he started his medical training at Western University. He, too, was fascinated by new treatments, and became a pioneer in the emerging field of angioplasty, a non-invasive way of clearing blocked arteries. It was a specialty he would introduce in London, where he also launched a program that uses stents, small structures that hold the arteries open. He continued to practice these skills in Vancouver, where he and wife Judy raised their three children. During their 20 years out west, Bob and Judy embraced skiing at Whistler, golfing in the Interior, B.C. wines and Bob’s favourite local delicacy, Dungeness crab. They socialized with gusto, hosting legendary New Year’s parties that featured a backyard pool heated for the occasion, and barbecued steak at midnight. An avid hockey dad to Clayton, Samantha and Mitchell, Bob had been looking forward to a new generation of skaters in grandkids Ben and Charlotte. Bob was beloved at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, just east of Vancouver, and Medpoint Health Care Centre in London, where he worked after returning to Ontario in 2013. Patients and colleagues treasured his kindness, his unhurried bedside manner and his straightforward, often colourful way of explaining medical issues. Medpoint will rename its cardiology clinic in his honour. Wherever they lived, Bob and Judy always returned in summer to Lake Muskoka, where the Browns first settled almost 150 years ago. He spent his final season swimming, boating and making memories with his clan; cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and siblings Louise, Jim, Cameron and Debbie. Bob is survived by wife Judy, children Clayton (Vincy), Samantha and Mitchell, and grandchildren Benjamin and Charlotte. He will be deeply missed also by a wide circle of loving family in London and across the province. A Celebration of Life will be held in 2024. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, www.heartandstroke.ca Condolences can be made through www.londoncremation.com.