July 7, 2020
With heavy hearts we announce the passing of our mother, Dr. Helen “Sharon” Dougan McMurtry, on July 7, 2020 at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, aged 77. Mum died peacefully after a long struggle with myasthenia gravis and consequent complications.
She is predeceased by her husband, Dr. Thomas J. McMurtry, and survived by her three children, Lynne (Alison), Sean, and Donna (Colin), and grandchildren Thomas, Ella, Kate, Ian and Claire.
Sharon was the first female family doctor in Vernon and was highly valued, respected, and beloved by a large community of people who benefited from her care and expertise. In 2007, Sharon was awarded the Wallace Wilson Leadership Award by the UBC Medical Alumni Association “in recognition of her outstanding leadership and service to the profession.” She was a gifted amateur musician and a stalwart supporter of classical music, both as a participant and audience member. She was ferociously intelligent, loved the natural world deeply, and was a great cook whose hospitality was endless.
Though increasingly hampered by myasthenia gravis in the last 20 years of her life, she never stopped fighting to participate fully in the things she loved.
We wish to extend our thanks to the doctors and nurses at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital, particularly those in the ICU, who cared for Mum so compassionately. A celebration of Sharon’s life is anticipated at a future date. Those wishing to honor Sharon can make donations to the Vernon Community Music School, the Nature Conservancy of the North Okanagan Society, or a charity of their choice.
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