Dr. Mieczyslaw Emil Koziol


Dr. Mieczyslaw (Michael) Emil

Dr. Mieczyslaw (Michael) Emil Koziol, of Comox, British Columbia, formerly of Vulcan, Alberta passed away peacefully at the Vulcan Community Health Centre on July 26, 2002 at the age of 85 years.

Michael (”Doc”) was born on August 8, 1916 in a small town in southern Poland called Bajdy. His father was a Polish professor who taught professors. Doc had a brother Kazek who was 2 years older than he was. When Doc was only 2 years old he lost his mother to the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918. Doc had a long illness as a child and thinks this may have been why he chose to study medicine. His father remarried and had two daughters, Hala and Ula both of whom still live in Poland. Doc’s brother Kazek passed away 2 years ago.

Doc studied medicine at Warsaw University obtaining the equivalent of both a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery degrees. With the invasion of Poland in September 1939 World War II broke out and Doc was captured by the Russians, escaped and was captured by the Nazis. He then spent the next five years in Austria in a Nazi POW camp where his skills as a doctor meant life over death. As an academic his father was not as fortunate, losing his life in one of the most notorious Nazi death camps. Doc visited this camp in 1998 giving him closure on this terrible and tragic period of his life.

After the American liberation in 1945 Doc was briefly in France, but soon went to England for degree nostrification. In 1946 he met and fell in love with Jean Laycock and was accepted to the London College of Surgeons and Physicians. After rewriting his exams he obtained his License of Royal College of Physicians (LRCP) and Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS). Doc and Jean married in 1948 and lived in Dunne, Scotland where Jean and Granny Laycock ran the Woodside Hotel and Doc commuted to the college in London. Their first son Michael was born in 2950. In June 1951 the family emigrated to McGregor, Manitoba where their second son Peter was born in 1952. In June 1955 they relocated to Vulcan, Alberta where they had their daughter Helen. Doc tirelessly attended to the medical needs within the Vulcan country and affectionately spoke of assisting with almost one thousand child births. Doc also enjoyed being a gentleman farmer, raising sheep, pregnant maire’s and even imported two of the first Limousin cows. His years in Vulcan were frequently referred to as the best 30 years of his life.

In 1985 Doc retired to Comox, B.C. at age 68, but continued his doctoring for several more years. Declining vision, heart problems and a fear of tainting an unchallenged medical career caused him to finally cease the practice of his calling and his lifelong passion. Peter, Doc and Jean owned and operated one of the largest oyster farms in that area.

Mike lives in Ponoka, Helen (Wilf) and their daughter Katya in Calgary and Jean in Comox. Doc was predeceased by a son Peter in 2000 from multiple sclerosis, a brother Kazek and his parents.

Funeral Service at the Vulcan Cultural Recreational Centre Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at 1:30 p.m. with Reverent Phillip Lee Celebrant.

Interment Vulcan Cemetery.

Honorary Bearers: David Irwin, Louis Shaw, Pat Walker, Peggy Todd, Kay McKay, Mo Pickersgill, Stuart Campbell, Jack Ward, David Mitchell and Stan Munton.

Casket Bearers: Terry White, Charlie Way, Ted Feday, Scott Mitchell, Bob Dumka, Ted Findlay.

In lieu of flowers, tribute’s in Doc’s memory could be made to either the Vulcan Community Health Centre Palliative Care Unit or the Long Term Care Unit, Box 299, Vulcan T0L 2B0. The Koziol family would be most grateful if a written copy of your fondest memories of Doc’s life could be brought to the Mass / Gathering and it will remain a cherished keepsake.

Arrangements in care of Vulcan Funeral Home. Director’s Telephone: 1-403-485-2633. E-mail condolences to: vulcanfuneralhome@hotmail.com.

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