We Remember

COCHRANE, David Douglas DR.

December 19, 1950 — February 17, 2024

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share that our dear Doug passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on February 17, 2024. In keeping with his character, Doug was courageous and thinking of others right to the end.

Doug was born in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada in 1950. His childhood featured family, time at the cottage, Pinecrest and Taylor Staton summer camps, sports, and a remarkable curiosity for learning. In high school, he met his future bride, Barbara Radke, and soon found his life’s purpose – improving the lives of sick children with complex neurosurgical problems. With Barb at his side, Doug graduated as the 1975 Gold Medalist from the University of Toronto Medical School. After completing his Neurosurgery Residency at the University of Calgary, Doug completed a Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, mentored by Canada’s pediatric neurosurgical pioneers, Drs. Hendrick, Hoffman, and Humphreys. Returning to Calgary in 1981, Doug’s academic faculty pediatric neurosurgery career was launched, greatly facilitated by his supportive colleagues. Doug moved his growing family to Vancouver, where he joined the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at British Columbia Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia in 1986. He worked tirelessly as an extraordinarily skillful, compassionate surgeon, always striving for excellence and manifesting utmost integrity. Doug was honoured to share the journey with his many patients and their families and credits them with his accrued skill and wisdom, which he in turn imparted to generations of Canadian and international medical students, residents, and fellows. All who met him will always remember his unhurried thoughtfulness, endless kindness, good humour, and especially his smile.

Doug was an inspiring leader who emphasized the importance of teamwork. He served as Surgeon in Chief, Vice President of BC Medical Affairs and the Provincial Health Services Authority, and the Chair of the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council. Doug was the architect of patient safety in BC and his team’s protocols and standards for safety are internationally recognized and employed across Canada.

While Doug’s career took him and Barbara to a number of international meetings, lectures, and conferences, one of the highlights was volunteering in Kenya and Angola where Doug performed surgery from many disciplines. While this was a brief opportunity, it made a lasting impact on them and reaffirmed Doug’s dedication to improving children’s health.

Post-retirement, Doug turned his mind and considerable energy to BC Interior Health, particularly during the evolving needs of the COVID 19 pandemic. He was passionately committed to the needs of First Nation and Metis, and was instrumental in guiding Interior Health’s reconciliation efforts. Doug stepped down as Chair of the Board only a few weeks before his passing.

For Doug, the most important partnership was that with his wife of 51 years, Barbara. Together they raised daughters Dawn and Katherine. Despite his rigorous schedule, Doug was a present and loving father, taking great joy from all aspects of their lives. Doug always heard what was (and wasn’t) said, dispensing wise counsel when needed. He was tremendously proud of the women they grew into and became the besotted grandfather of their four children.

Doug’s final days were spent in reflective gratitude for all those who have shared his life and, more recently, the experience of kidney transplantation. Doug and his family thank the remarkable transplant team at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, and his post-transplant team at Kelowna General Hospital. Doug was most grateful to his beloved sister Dianne Woodward who didn’t hesitate in giving him her second kidney. This generous spirit allowed Doug two more precious years of life.

Doug leaves his devoted wife, Barbara; daughter Dawn (Jamie) and grandsons Max and Ben; and daughter Katherine (Jonathan) and grandchildren Sophia and Gabe; as well as his sister Dianne Woodward (Bob). Doug shared a mutual admiration and many delightful memories with his 102-year-old mother-in-law, Myrtle Radke, and was predeceased by his loving parents, George & Madeline Cochrane. David Douglas Cochrane, aka “Dougie,” will always be missed by his extended family, many friends, and colleagues.

At Doug’s request, there will be no funeral, but a celebration of life will follow in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

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Kidney Foundation of Canada Link: www.kidney.ca




  • Tammy Tugnum says:

    My sincere condolences to you Barbara and your entire family. Doug always had a way of making you feel as if you were the only person in a room full of people. Always asking after my husband and our boys enthusiastically, and learning a little about our way of life as 4th generation loggers! Doug was the an amazing leader of the IH board, providing steady, knowledgeable and compassionate leadership. His contributions to the medical community were substantial and I was pretty awestruck by his accomplishments. I will miss our phone calls, he always had time to talk, even when I was off the board. May you all find comfort in the memories of your husband, brother, dad and grandfather. Sincerely, Tammy

  • Michael Marchbank says:

    I had the privilege of both working with and getting to know Doug. He was truly an exceptional man who will be sorely missed. To his wife and family please accept my heartfelt condolences.
    Michael Marchbank

  • Dr Marcy Saxe-Braithwaite says:

    So sorry to hear of Dr Cochrane’s passing. I had the pleasure of meeting him when I worked at VCHA in the early 2000, Dr. Cochrane was an inspirational leader. He taught us so much about quality and patient safety, an advocate for safe care and passionate about serving our patients!
    God bless to his family. So sorry for your loss.
    May he rest in peace

  • Heather Quesnelle (nee Trantom) says:

    I was very sorry to hear of Doug’s passing. My sincere condolences to Barb, family and friends. It’s been many years since high school, but I often reflected on the time we spent together on Ogden Avenue.. Doug was an exceptional clinician and made an enormous contribution to not only the children and families he treated, but also to the medical profession and the healthcare community. He will be missed.

  • Carole Williams says:

    I was so sad to see news of Doug passing, my heartfelt condolences to his family. I was privleged to have worked with Doug in Calgary, me a medical resident doing a rotation in neurosurgery, he my senior resident. I was also able to consult him on many trauma cases at the Calgary General Hospital and was pleased to have him speak to the board of directors of Doctorsof BC when I was board chair. He will be missed.

  • Ross Cochrane says:

    Dear Barbara, Dawn, Katherine, Dianne and Families,
    There really aren’t any words that will ease the pain and grief that you are experiencing as you try to cope with the immeasurable loss of Doug’s passing. We hope and pray that the abundant Love and Support from Family and Friends coupled with long distance Hugs will help in some small way. Doug was a wonderful man who helped countless people in so many ways during his lifetime with his many special talents and gifts. The World has lost a beautiful Soul – Heaven has gained one more. Our Heartfelt condolences are extended to all of you at this most difficult and trying time – God Bless.
    With Love and Our Deepest and Sincerest Sympathies,
    Ross and Sue and Families

  • JAMI BROWN says:

    Doug was a wonderful man. He was one of the first people to welcome me to Health Quality BC. His kind heart and sound advice was something I looked forward to each year. He never waivered in his stance of how important it is to put people first. I often think about our talks. My sincerest condolences to all of you. May he rest in peace. Jami Brown

  • Anne Panessa says:

    With deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to all the family at this very sad time. I feel truly privileged to have known and worked with Doug at BCCH and PHSA. I will never forget his help, support and advice.
    Anne Panessa

  • Myles Huble says:

    I wouldn’t normally write my thoughts to the family of a person whom I knew just on a professional basis but I must from a spirit of gratitude. My daughter Rheanna was seen often by Dr Cochrane at BCCH from her birth, many spina bifida clinics, and surgeries. Never have I met a doctor who was more focussed on the care and treatment of my daughter. He was wonderful in his visits with Rhe and in discussions with us, her parents. I can’t imagine having to carry the burden of so many families in his able hands. I’m sure the doctors who mentored under him were able to take some of him with them as the journeyed to their home countries. I hope he lives on through his work with them.
    I’m not a spiritual man but I hope Doug and Rheanna can cross paths again. Thank you Dr Cochrane for your many years of service to children and their families. To his family and friends, I offer our sympathy.
    Myles Huble.

  • Lyndsay Grant says:

    My sincere condolences to Dr. Cochrane’s family and friends. My family and I are so saddened to hear of the news of his passing. He first operated on me at BCCH in 1993 when I was only 2.5 months old. With his skilled expertise of treating Hydrocephalic patients, I am now 30 years old, live abroad, and expecting my first child in 9 weeks. The trajectory of my life would have been completely different without Dr. Cochrane’s amazing medical care, and I will forever be grateful to him. My thoughts are with his loved ones during this difficult time!

  • Joan Williams says:

    Nonie remembers riding in Doug’s army jeep in Muskoka ❤️

  • Connie Jasper says:

    Sending condolences to the family. On behalf of the Tsilhqot’in Nation. We had the pleasure of working with Doug through the PALT where he shared the Chair Role. He traveled to our Nation and the community of Xeni Gwet’in. He was such an advocate for First Nations access to quality care. Thank you for the great work Doug. You will truly be missed.

  • John Shepherd MD FRCPC says:

    I met Doug when I was a clinical clerk doing a neurosurgery rotation in Calgary in 1981; he was a wonderful mentor at that time. Subsequently, we interacted for a number of years on the BC Patient Safety Council and other aspects of medical administration. His thoughts were always considerate and of value to others and his leadership was always appreciated by others. His early passing saddens me greatly.

  • Karla Swan says:

    I was so sad to read of Dougs passing. He was a wonderful person to work with and also took great care of our daughter. I called on him for advice over the years and was always amazed and appreciative of his calm and wise counsel. I will miss our interactions and our joint love of newfoundlands. Sending his family my sincere condolences.

  • Nancy Kotani says:

    Doug Cochrane’s dedication to making the health system better and more accountable inspired many who had the privilege and opportunity to work with him.
    May his memory be for blessing

  • Maria & Carlo Zamprogno says:

    Our sincere heartfelt condolences to Dr. Cochrane’s family. It is with deep gratitude and fond remembrance that we honor his remarkable skill, dedication, and compassion. We are forever grateful for the gift of his talent and kindness. My son was 8 months old (11 years ago), when Dr. Cochrane performed his Craniosynostosis surgery.

    Dr. Cochrane’s impact on our lives is immeasurable and we take this time to honor the memory of a truly remarkable surgeon and human being. May you rest in heavenly peace, Dr. Cochrane. We will never forget you. 🙏🫶
    The Zamprogno Family

  • Tom Bowman and Joyce (Radke) Bowman says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you Barb and family at this time
    Tom and Joyce

  • Jenny, Graham, Angela and Philippa Kedgley says:

    Dear Barb and family
    It was with great sadness that we learnt of Doug’s passing. He will be greatly missed. We have fond memories of your family’s friendship and, in particular, of the trips to school by the girls in his car.
    With love and deepest sympathy,
    The Kedgleys

  • Jeff and Skye Radke says:

    We’ll always remember Uncle Doug for being such a kind and loving man. Family and helping others were his clear passions.
    Walking around Toronto on a summer night and going out for dinner with Uncle Doug and Aunt Barb was always a memory we looked back on with joy. Wish we had done that a couple more times.
    We’re thinking of Dawn, Katherine, and Aunt Barb everyday.

  • Rose Harrison says:

    Sending heartfelt condolences to Doug’s family, friends, colleagues, community and organizations he served with such dignity and passion. I felt so grateful to work alongside him to advance electronic medical records, quality/safety, community engagement and child advocacy, and I so appreciated his thoughtful, candid perspectives at various times during my career. Despite his considerable accomplishment and leadership presence, I so appreciate how he made each individual feel seen and heard in “this'” interaction – fully present. That’s an incredible legacy.

  • Susan A. And Bryan T says:

    So sad to read about Dr. Cochrane’s passing. 26 years ago he performed 2 surgeries on our 7 year old daughter’s brain. Besides being an excellent surgeon, Dr. Cochrane was a very compassionate and caring person to us and our daughter. We will never forget him.

  • Heather Mass says:

    The passing of Dr Doug Cochrane is very sad for the many many people who have known and appreciated him in so many ways. He was a very skilled doctor, leader, teacher, and friend who will.be remembered for his care, dedication, and kindness to many. Several hundreds of patients and families will also remember his skill and smile., as will those who learned from his professional skills In so many ways. Those of us who worked with him at BC Children’s Hospital and knew him well will always remember him as a colleague, teacher, and good friend. Thank you and rest well my friend. 🌟
    Heather Mass RN (retired)

  • Kim van der Woerd says:

    I’m so incredibly sad to hear this news. I have such fond memories of Doug when I served on the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council in it’s first couple of years.

    He led with such wisdom and kindness, and was clearly so dedicated to a caring and healthy system. Not only did he care about the system, his work with his patients was unprecedented, I recall that he shared his phone numbers with some families he helped so that they felt secure in what they were going through. He also connected with my friend who needed neurosurgery for a brain tumour – he was forever generous, gracious and kind. He has had a powerful impact and I’m so grateful to have known him.

    Thinking of you all and his loved ones,


  • Carnation Zhuwaki - Interior Health Indigenous Partnerships says:

    My deepest condolences to Doug’s family and friends.
    I met him twice and both times he took the time to truly connect with me. He was such a personable and kind man.
    Doug Cochrane inspired many and was a true advocate for those without a voice. May we continue his legacy…
    I will truly miss him…

  • Ray & Marie Gouthro says:

    We were very sad to learn of Dr. Cochrane’s passing. In June 2015 he operated on our 7 year old granddaughter to remove a brain tumour.. We will be forever grateful for his excellent care and most importantly for his kindness, compassion and the way he always made us feel that he had all the time in the world for us. He had 2 young doctors working with him and we saw the respect they had for him so feel that he has passed along these amazing qualities to everyone he mentored.
    The world has lost not just a brilliant surgeon, but a beautiful person.
    We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and all who loved him.

  • Laura Reeves and Bert Boyd says:

    We had the privilege of doing some consulting work with Doug while he was in leadership roles in the BC Health System. He was always so professional, thoughtful and personable – we were honored to be able to work with him.

  • Darlene Antoniuk says:

    My son Ben and I knew Dr. Cochrane through the BCCH Spina Bifida clinic. He performed 3 surgeries and met with us many times in clinic. He is one of the kindest doctors we’ve ever met and always took the time to explain everything fully and answer my many questions. We are forever grateful for his expertise, wisdom and care. Our condolences to his family.

  • Paul Steinbok says:

    My sincere condolences to Barbara and all of Doug’s family. For over 30 years Doug and I worked together in the Division of Neurosurgery at BC Children’s Hospital and I could not have asked for a better partner. We had a fantastic relationship built on shared values of respect, honesty, hard work, and pursuit of excellence in clinical care, teaching and research, with the common goal of providing high quality, compassionate care for children with neurosurgical conditions and their families. Doug was always available to discuss both medical and personal issues and was one of my most valued confidants. The advice and guidance he provided was always thoughtful and wise. Even after Doug retired from clinical neurosurgery, we were in contact. Doug was a constant support for almost 40 years, and it is difficult to realize that he is no longer with us. His passing has left a hole in my life, which can only be partially filled with memories of our time together. As we say in our Jewish religion, may his memory be a blessing.

  • Sarah Perry says:

    My sincere condolences go out to Barbra and all of Doug’s family. In 2005 I was diagnosed with brain cancer and Dr. Cochrane saved my life. I would not be here today if it weren’t for him. I underwent multiple surgeries after, which some he performed. As I grew older and graduated from Children’s Hospital moving to VGH, he was still there to comfort and reassure me and my family that everything would be ok. We would keep in contact through email, and he even called me when I came out of surgery. I remember hearing his voice, even though I wasn’t able to move or speak; this reassured me that everything would be ok. This amazing human dedicated so much of his time and help saving children. He was always smiling, and I will continue to feel his smile every time the sun shines. I will miss him very much, but I know that heaven gained another angel.

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