We Remember

WARD, Dr. Roy Vernon

January 1, 1970 — January 1, 1970

It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Roy, our adored husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend on August 25, 2015. He leaves behind Catrina his beloved wife and best friend of 55 years, his loving children son Brian and Jane, daughter Catherine and Marco DiStefano, cherished grandchildren Kaitlin (Paul), Adam, Connor and Austin; his brother Dale and Natalie, sister Carole Ann and Ralph Morris, sister in law Donna Dougan, brother in law Rod and Jean Morrison and eight loving nieces and nephews. Roy will also be missed by many friends and colleagues. Roy was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan November 5, 1934 and was a 1958 graduate of University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine. Roy and Catrina met in Vancouver and married in 1959.  They left for Britain where Roy continued post graduate studies in surgery and obstetrics.  Roy’s early desire and focus was to work in a country where medical help was scarce in remote areas.  In 1961 Roy and Catrina left for Nigeria, West Africa.   In Nigeria Roy practiced medicine and surgery for 6 years in rural mission hospitals and leprosy settlements.  The years living and working in Nigeria were foundations for the rest of Roy’s life. He always had a deep concern for those living in areas facing poverty and without adequate health care.


Returning to Canada in 1968, Roy began his medical practice in Castlegar, West Kootenays.  Roy was a kind and compassionate physician who cared deeply about his patients. Roy volunteered in the Caribbean and East Africa with CIDA and other agencies.  He was able to provide financial support to several African physicians to complete their medical education. Community service was always very important to Roy – including Kiwanis Club (past president), Library Board, Heritage Society, Probus Club plus serving on boards of his church.  One of Roy’s greatest pleasures was sailing his beloved boat ‘Cabroi’ on the Arrow Lake.  Roy’s passions also included skiing, photography, genealogy and travel.  In 2000 Roy and Catrina relocated to the Okanagan.  Roy continued to lead a full life and make new friendships while maintaining earlier ones. He always had a deep love for travel and Roy and Catrina continued to enjoy visiting many interesting and unusual parts of the world.


We will never forget the joy, compassion and boundless curiosity of life Roy brought to our lives. The many life lessons shared helped make us better people. Roy will be remembered as a man of immense faith, patience, courage and grace. In recent years Roy’s health sadly deteriorated as diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) a rare neurodegenerative movement disorder. Though his physical body weakened, Roy’s alert mind, humour and deep faith continued. We thank Brookhaven Care Centre staff for the excellent care, compassion and friendship shown Roy during his time there. The family also thanks Dr. B. Lewke for his excellent medical care of Roy. Our family greatly appreciates the continued friendships shared with Roy during his health struggles, with special gratitude to Andrew Weststeyn and other caring friends.


While we mourn Roy’s passing, we take solace in the peace and freedom he has now found. A celebration of Roy’s life will be held at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna on September 3rd, 2015 at 1 p.m. with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, if desired donations to Operation Smile Canada (www.operationsmile.org/canada) or Disabled Sailing Association of Kelowna, 1370 Water St, Kelowna (www.disabledsailingkelowna.ca) in Roy’s name would be appreciated.

For those wishing to send a condolence, photos or share memories, may do so by scrolling down this page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”

September 3rd, 2015 at 1 p.m.

Springfield Funeral Home

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Operation Smile Canada or Disabled Sailing Association of Kelowna, 1370 Water St, Kelowna Link: www.operationsmile.org/canada, www.disabledsailingkelowna.ca


Service Information

Service Details

The service for WARD, Dr. Roy Vernon is scheduled for September 3rd, 2015 at 1 p.m. . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Springfield Funeral Home

2020 Springfield Road Kelowna, BC


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  • Susan Cook says:

    I am sorry to hear of Roy’s passing. I worked for him when he did locum work for serveral of the doctors I worked for. I always found to be a gentle and compassanate person. My sincere condolences to the whole family.

  • Jon van vliet says:

    Roy was a great partner, kind to all and especially to me when I was in trouble. I was very impressed when I came to C astlegar in 73 that he could do all the work of a general surgeon and obstetrician- we don’t produce this kind of MD any more. he was always available to help immediately with difficult problems I encountered. He left a great deal of patients who still miss his care when he moved.

  • Janna Spratt (former Sklapsky) says:

    Please accept my sincere condolences on Roy’s passing. Although I was saddened by the news I rejoice with you because he is now in a better place where there is no pain or sadness!

  • Shelly Adams says:

    I will continue to pray for you his family and loved ones, and will always hold onto his wonderful wisdom, kindness and sense of humour. Roy inspired me to be a better human and to put my faith before every other choice in life. I am sad to have this news, but also so grateful to have known this beautiful human. Blessings and prayers to you his family.

  • Jonathan and Lynn Dent says:

    Dear Dale and Natalie and family,

    Our condolences on the passing of your brother Roy. Please know that you and family are in our prayers as you mourn the loss.. We pray that the God of all comfort will comfort all of you as you gather together with others in the coming days to comfort one another and to celebrate Roy’s life and who he was to you. May you know His Peace that passes all understanding and may the Joy of the Lord be your strength.

    Love and prayers,
    Lynn and Jonathan

  • Co and Flore Langeslag says:

    To Catrina and her family,
    Our deepest sympathy to you and your children and their family on Dr. Roy Ward passing. May you find comfort with your family and closed friends during your grieving process. We will always remember Roy with his happy smiles during the time we get together at all Andy and Diane Weststeyn gathering. May He Rest in Peace. Co and Flore Langeslag

  • Anne Rust says:

    My love and prayer goes out to you Catrina and your family. I have many lovely memories of you and Roy when we lived at The Pointe. Ray’s sister was able to have a longer life thanks to Roy when she had a stroke while visiting us here.

  • Lisa, Ken, and Ashley Postnikoff says:

    Catrina and Family ……… Our deepest condolences for the passing of Roy. He was such a caring and loving man who holds a very special place in our hearts. He shared the most wonderful and intimate time of our lives by bringing our beautiful daughter into this world 22 years ago. Safely I might add. We will forever be so grateful to him for that and think of him always. May he rest in peace now. We will never forget him. Catrina, you hold an equally special place in our hearts as well,please know we are thinking of you in this very difficult time. With all our Love to you and your Family.
    Lisa, Ken and Ashley Postnikoff. – Castlegar

  • Harvie Barker says:

    To Catrina Ward & family,

    I saw Roy’s obituary in today’s Penticton Herald, and wanted to respond. I was sorry to learn of the death of Roy, although I didn’t know him personally. I did know the Morrison family in my early days at Fairview. I was friends there with Rod.
    You would have known my brother Ken and sister Bernice. Ken is in a care facility in or near Owen Sound and was diagnosed, a few years ago, with Multiple System Atrophy; so I know what that is like and how hard it is on the family. I have lived in Penticton since 1987 with the exception of 8 years (1995 to 2003) in Revelstoke, after which time I retired to Penticton. Bernice is living in Saskatoon and has been there since the early 1960’s. I would be interested in knowing where Rod is now living.
    Our thoughts are with you and your family at this time. Kind regards, Harvie Barker.

  • John D. lennon says:

    our heartfelt condolnces to Dr Wards family he was my physician many years ago in castlegar he always had great empathy for his patients he will be sadly missed by many As his colleague jon van vliet had said physicians are so different today again our deepest sympathies

  • Aleta Marchant says:

    I was saddened to learn of Dr. Ward’s death. He was a great man. I remember (in Castlegar) his gentle demeanor as physician and how he exemplified to us younger generations the meaning of living ones life for Christ. We are all richer because of it!
    I can’t begin to imagine what you are feeling, but Gord and I send you our love and prayers.

  • Lisa and Patrick Bourbonnais says:

    To Dale & Natalie and family,

    Our condolences on the passing of Dales brother, Roy. You are in our prayers during this time of mourning.

  • Lance and Tess Ewing says:

    The Ewing family sends their condolences on the loss of Roy, our neighbor and friend.

  • Keith/Jean Merritt says:

    It was the spring of 1977 while finishing my Family Practice training that Roy called me in Ontario offering me a job in Castlegar BC. He was charming on the phone and convinced me to try it out. I worked with Roy until his retirement. He was always ready to help no matter what the situation. He had a very generous spirit and the people of Castlegar benefited immensely. He will be missed!

  • Nancy Craig says:

    Dear Catrina,

    My memories go back to 1967, in Uburu, Nigeria. Happy moments spent with you in your home and in visiting the people around you. David and I were young green missionaries and your insight into life in Nigeria was invaluable. May our compassionate and gracious Father surround you with his protection and strength and never-ending love.

  • Mary Donlevy says:

    Catrina: As I said this morning I was so very sad to hear of Roy’s death. Although I really did not know him well before he became ill, I was amazed to see how strong he was and able to maintain a cheerful outlook in the face of his disease’s adversity. God bless him and I am so glad to know he went peacefully with you by his side. I know your many happy memories will be the silver lining behind this cloud.

  • Edward& Selma Adams says:

    With fond memories of Dr.Ward I will always remember Him as the most professional and gentle doctor ever. In the community He set an example to others in His Christian life. May you find strength at this time knowing He is with the Lord.
    With thoughts and prayers
    Ed/Selma Adams

  • Michael Fedunec says:

    I apologize for my belated words of condolence. I just heard today about Roy’s passing. I have many fond memories of him both as my physician but also as the father of my one time friend Brian. As a teenager I remember one time coming over to the house to see Brian and having “Dr. Ward” come up to me while I was sitting on the couch in the basement. He asked me if I wanted to see a neat trick. I indicated I that I did and he proceeded to take his finger and press on a nerve on my leg. In a matter of seconds my leg was numb and I could not move it. He chuckled and walked off. I also remember the time he and Brian took me sailing on the High Arrow Lake above the Kootenay Dam. Truly was an experience that I will never forget. Though many years have passed since those teenage years, Roy (Dr. Ward) will forever hold a favoured spot in my heart. My prayers and thoughts go out to you. Though it has been a couple of months since he left to go to be with his Lord, I am sure that the pain of his absence is still being felt by the family. Catrina (Mrs. Ward), Brian, and Cathy may you experience the comforting hand of God on your shoulder as you press forward through these days, weeks, and months of grief.

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