The community of Squamish is mourning the loss of Dr. LaVerne Kindree, who passed away on Saturday, Sept. 26 at the age of 88.
There will be a public memorial service on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Howe Sound Secondary School at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking people to make a contribution to the Squamish Health Care Foundation to purchase a CT Scanner for Squamish General Hospital.
Dr. Kindree called Squamish home for more than 60 years. In December of 2008 he received the Order of Canada for his contributions to health care in the region, his 50 years of medical practice and his efforts to raise funds to purchase life-saving equipment for the Squamish Hospital.
Dr. Kindree hailed from Saskatchewan and set up his medical practice in Squamish in 1948. The town's previous doctor died in World War II and Kindree liked the idea of living in a railroad town.
It didn't take long for him to become involved in his new community. By 1950 he created a committee to build a hospital in town and just two years later it became a reality.
Dr. Kindree was also immersed in the community, serving on District council for 23 years, serving as the local coroner for 48 years and eight years with the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.
While there was enough work in Squamish to keep him busy, he also made a point of hosting weekly clinics at the Mount Currie Reserve for 20 years and was active with the Squamish Nation community as well.
Between 1989 and 1994 Dr. Kindree was part of a study that confirmed the existence of Lyme disease in B.C. That forced the provincial health authorities to acknowledge that the disease was in the province, which in turn made it easier and more common for doctors to test and treat patients.
Mayor Greg Gardner remembers Dr. Kindree as "a man of few words and much action" and called his passing a huge loss to Squamish.
"He was an unbelievable contributor to our community... He was not only a physician in the region, he was the driving force behind establishing the Squamish General Hospital. He has been an extremely hardworking supporter for the hospital and a multitude of health issues the whole time he has lived here.
"He was a founder of the Chamber of Commerce, and has been active with that organization the whole time. He was a founder of the Rotary Club of Squamish. He was instrumental in the lobby that resulted in the construction of the original highway to Squamish. And establishing Alice Lake Park. He has been extremely supportive of First Nations communities in the corridor, and has taken a lead role in re-establishing a trust relationship with our aboriginal peoples. And he sat on the District of Squamish council for 23 years.
"Somehow he also found time for many personal pursuits as well. He raised a wonderful family here. He was an avid outdoorsman and woodworker, and a gardener as well. Dr. Kindree left a very positive mark on our community."