Leslie and Ellen Burr welcomed Alan David Burr into the world minutes after his twin sister Gwyneth, during December 1936. Alan was born to British missionaries living in Pointe-a-Pierre, Trinidad. He was sent to boarding school at ten years of age as was the custom of his generation and became comfortable with travel. He enjoyed playing badminton, cricket and loved watching tennis with his sister. Upon completion of his elementary education, Alan entered the military to fulfill his National Service. It was during his military service that Alan discovered his interest and talent for medicine, while working as a nursing orderly in Cypress and Iraq.
Alan entered university and medical school becoming a consultant in Pediatric Medicine. He immigrated to Canada in 1966 bringing his young family first to Vancouver, BC and then Summerside, PEI. They finally chose to settle on the West Coast moving to Comox in 1973.
Alan loved the “wild and woolly” nature of the Pacific Northwest and could be found on any given weekend painting on the Dyke Road or watching the nesting eagles at Kye Bay. He was a gifted artist who entered the local artisan culture selling water colour paintings and miniature scenes of the Comox Valley. His love of nature was acute and his appreciation of creatures lead to the adoption of any distressed animal that walked up his driveway from Guido the crow, to Blackie the tom cat. His final companion was Sir Angus the Persian cat, who misses him dearly.
Alan is best known by those who loved him for his 34 years as a Pediatrician in the Comox Valley. His compassion for “little people” meant he spent endless hours at the bedside of those who entered his care. His family remembers the countless nights the phone would ring and Alan would leave for the hospital in the dark, tripping over toys left in the hall, his car’s headlights casting a glow on bedroom ceilings as they watched him leave. His care was not confined to office hours; he lived his life in service. Alan retired in 2001 and spent several years falling back in love with music and the cello.
He is survived by his devoted wife Christina, his daughters Ruth, Susan, Karen, Ann and Sarah, and son David. Along with his twin Gwyneth, Alan also leaves behind his younger sister Jean. Thirteen grandchildren are happy to call Alan Grandpop and have spent wonderful summers enjoying his home and the community he built for them.
His family would like to thank all those who helped Christina ensure that their Dad was able to fulfill his wish to stay at home for the duration of his life. Your kindness and compassion is deeply appreciated and made all the difference in his final years.
In lieu of flowers the family would like people to consider donating in Alan’s name to the Alzheimer Society of Canada or the Trumpeter Swan Society. Alternatively showing your support for your local children’s ward and community health programs would honour his memory.
Service of Remembrance is Thursday April 25th at 1 pm at St. John’s the Divine, reception to follow at the church hall.