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In memoriam
Nov. 16, 2023

Dr. Alfred Kenneth Wyllie

On Nov. 16, 2023, our extraordinary father, Dr. Alfred (Kenneth) Wyllie, went from remembering Christ to being with his Lord and saviour and being reunited with mum forever. Beloved husband of Mary (Dunn), dad to Connie (Steve Naftel), Crystal (Andrew Isaak) and Andrew (Laura Park-Wyllie), poppa and grandpa to Eliza, Jamie, Robert, Jonathan, Rachel, Lilly and William, dear cousin to John (2020), Rose, Anne and Andrew (2022) and their families in the U.K., chosen dad to Michael and Julia Djan-Sampson in Ghana and their children Andrew and Julianne, and uncle of Ian, Paul and Gavin Freeman, and Maureen (2021).

Dr. Wyllie was born in Kingston, Ont., on Nov. 22, 1931, to Dr. John Wyllie (1971) and Constance Eliza (Clifton) (1969). He was the brother of John (2003), Joyce (2009) and Anna (2021).

Having attended Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute, winning the provincial literary competition for his story Shoes in a Row, he headed to Queen’s University, graduating in the class of meds 55 at the age of 23. He was awarded so many prizes during medical school that it seems there were only a handful left for his classmates to share. Dad did not talk about his academic success, but the newspaper did! Further studies took him to U of T, with rotations at Sunnybrook and Toronto General Hospitals. Then, it was off to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh where his training changed from thoracic to plastic and reconstructive surgery. While there, he won the RL McLaughlin scholarship that led him to complete fellowships across continental Europe, England and the U.S. at the preeminent plastic surgical centres of the early '60s.

While in the south of England, the (Scottish Lad), met his (English Rose) and in six weeks they were engaged. He left a few days later to complete his fellowship at Johns Hopkins and returned in six months for their wedding. Mum was unsure if she would recognize him and no wedding planning questions had been answered in their many letters, as he could not decipher her handwriting. In 1963, as a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeon in Edinburgh and Canada, Dr. Wyllie was asked to found the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Queen’s University.

In the 1980s, with a generous donation from the Shrine Club, Dr. Wyllie founded the burn unit for southeastern Ontario at the Hotel Dieu Hospital. With his characteristic humility, he refused to have it named in his honour.

Over thirty years, medical students attended rounds ‘with Messrs. Java and Horton in attendance. They were introduced to plastic surgery and many were inspired to follow his example despite Queen’s not having its own plastics residency program. His passion for teaching, in the operating room and lecture hall, was equalled by his care for and skill in treating patients.

Like Abraham and Sarah, dad and mum followed when God called to them in 1972, leaving the comfort and safety of the faith community they so dearly loved. They were his witnesses to the ends of the earth. Across Africa, South America, Asia, including dearly loved Bangladesh; in Kingston parks and the home at "295." Dad, with his beloved Mary, gave his skill, time and energy to share the eternal love of Jesus Christ through healing surgeries, in spoken word and bible study.

Two years ago, now without his Mary, dad courageously left his beloved Kingston to live at the Village of Arbour Trails, Guelph, and to be closer to his children. Despite increasing frailty, he continued to radiate grace and care for those around him rooted in his desire to love and serve God. He spoke in these last years the words of the Old Testament prophet Job, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Dr. Wyllie was the founding director of Mars Hill Radio Canada, a chaplain with Gideons International, a Sunday school teacher, an amateur radio ham and a stamp collector mainly of Canada and Israel. His fascination with God’s creation led to watercolour paintings of landscapes, gardens filled with roses and binoculars in hand to see a bird or a meteor shower. Despite a demanding medical practice, dad always made time to edit our school essays, teach us how to fish and repair a lawnmower, tutor us in calculus, make toast soldiers with coddled eggs for us and then his grandchildren for Saturday breakfast, cook the Christmas sweets and roast the holiday turkey.

In all he did and said, he did it for Christ and to make Christ known.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Doctors Without Borders/MSF, Little Cataraqui Conservation Authority or Community of the Savior, Rochester, N.Y., in his memory would be greatly appreciated.

Please send us stories of Ken and Mary to and they will be included in an album for their grandchildren to cherish.

To you, his cherished friends, may we follow Ken's prayer "to be useful for Christ"