Dr. John Fairley
December 13, 1924 – March 27, 2007
The Comox Valley lost a valued and much loved citizen with the death on March 27, 2007 of Dr. John Fairley, family doctor, who came here to practice in 1965. Born in Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight, on December 13, 1924, John is survived by a large extended family including his first wife, Patricia Constance Josephine Fairley in Fowey, Cornwall; his two sons Andrew (Estela) in Caracas, Venezuela and Sean (Loli) in The Hague, Holland; grandchildren Alexander, Carmen, Thomas, Elena and John; his second wife and companion of many years, Kate Fairley, and her children Chris (Anna), Kevin (Leisa), Julie (Brian) and Lindsey Munson; grandchildren Timothy, Julian, Maxine, Sylvia and Benjamin.
Enlisting with the Royal Navy at the age of 18 in 1942, John Fairley trained as a Commando, serving in India (Chittagong) and Italy. After demobilization in 1947 and some years lobster fishing in Scotland, he studied medicine at Cambridge, qualifying in 1953. Following a stint as Medical Officer with the Canadian Air Force in France, he decided in 1960 to emigrate to Canada, working in Alert Bay with Dr. Jack Pickup before setting up general practice in Comox five years later.
A nature lover and skilled sailor, John’s boat was the second sailboat to be moored in the basin which eventually became the Comox municipal marina. He helped found the Comox Bay Sailing Club, was a keen racer and won many trophies. He loved boat building and has left a legacy of several dinghies and kayaks.
In retirement, John spent several years exploring the Mediterranean and eventually sailed the Atlantic to the Caribbean where winter sojourns included the Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Venezuela.
Although frail health contributed to a lessening of energy in the last few months, John maintained his spirit and sturdy character to the end, walking on the Spit almost every day, checking his beloved “Lucky Duck” sailboat and keeping in close contact with family and friends. He died at home and, in accordance with his wishes, his ashes will be consigned to the waters of Georgia Strait. Following this ceremony, friends are invited to an informal celebration of John’s life to be held in the Comox Yacht Club (below the Black Fin Pub) on Saturday, April 28 at 4pm.