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Dr. Elmer Quintyn lauded

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A man credited as a driving force in the development of Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital is being remembered fondly and with respect in the wake of his passing.

“This hospital and this community owe him a great debt of gratitude,” said Dr. Richard Dalby, who will be speaking at his former colleague and friend’s funeral.

“Without him, the hospital, and therefore the community, would not be what it is today.”

Born in 1922 in Belgium, Quintyn passed on July 6, 10 days ahead of his 90th birthday. He emigrated to and grew up in Delhi, before receiving his MD from The University of Western Ontario in 1951. An accomplished surgeon, Quintyn was recognized in 1993 as the first recipient of the George Tillsonburg Memorial Founders Award, honouring foresight and vision in establishing institutional cornerstones in Tillsonburg.

Then mayor Cam McKnight recognized Quintyn’s efforts in the development of TDMH. An article published in the Wednesday, November 3, 1993 edition of The Tillsonburg News, notes the hospital received its first accreditation in 1968, during the surgeon’s term of office as board chairman.

“There could be no doubt that our hospital facility is a large contributor to the quality of life in Tillsonburg and the surrounding municipalities,” McKnight is quoted in the article. “And it’s obvious Dr. Quintyn has been a major reason why our local hospital is able to offer the services it does.”

Quintyn was also recognized by the Ontario Medical Association in 1987 with the Glen Sawyer Award for similar reasons.

“His dedication was outstanding,” said then TDMH president Jim Spencer in the article. “When I started here… the first person I heard about was ‘Mr. Hospital.’ He had the respect of everyone and still does. He’s given a lot to the town as well as the hospital.”

Quintyn served on the hospital board for 23 years, acted as chair from 1967 to 1969 and was on two building committees, for the south wing and the 1988-89 addition.

Quintyn’s community involvement included serving on council from 1960-65, as Vice Chair of the PUC and he was also president of the Kinsmen, Shriners, Curling Club and Director of the Royal Order of Jesters.

“He was a fine gentleman and a hell of a surgeon,” credited fellow Shriner (and past president) Don Millman.

“He served the town well, was a great family man and a good Shriner too – he did his share, plus.”

Millman recalled how Quintyn was ‘a great sportsman,’ adept in a curling rink or on a golf course.

“Anything he did, he did with perfection.

“The town was lucky to have him,” Millman added. “He was a great surgeon and a very compassionate man with his patients.”

Quintyn had a vibrant life outside of his chosen profession and community service, playing football with the Mustangs while at UWO, earned his pilot’s licence and enjoyed a wide range of activities including fishing, hunting, boating, scuba diving, photography, curling and golf.

“He was a larger-than-life kind of guy,” said his daughter-in-law Michelle, who is married to Chuck Quintyn.

A small town doctor is in effect, on call, and filling that role is a calling as much as a profession she said. But Quintyn was able to balance excellence in that area, with his family and broader enjoyment of life.

“He was a fun, social guy,” Michelle said. “A bring-the-town-to-life social guy.”

Visitation will be held today (July 10) from 7-9 at Ostrander Funeral Home, with the funeral at the same location the following day (July 11) at 11 a.m. Donations in his name to TDMH will be welcomed.

Quintyn was a great man who is missed, Dalby summed up in conclusion.

“A great colleague and a good friend.”

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