Obituary – Gerard Bloem, PhD 1914 – 2015

The following obituary was written by Glenn Hardie, a long-time friend of Gerard and Trudy.

Gerard Bloem and his wife Trudy were members of BCHA for about 20 years, from 1990 to 2010. Gerard was born in December 1914, a few months after the outbreak of WW1; he died in March 2015, three months over the age of 100.

As a teenager, he attended a commercial school in Holland to prepare to enter the family business which was processing and exporting anchovies. However, he did not care for that work, and enrolled in the University of Amsterdam. He completed programs in Maths, Physics, and Chemistry, earning a doctorate degree in the process and finding suitable work in a clinical laboratory established by his sister.

Gerard met his wife Trudy in Switzerland in 1948 and they were married in 1951. In 1955, they moved to Vancouver, where Gerard took positions at St. Paul’s and Lion’s Gate hospitals. He also worked in some local clinics and operated a small lab in his own home, to pursue commercial interests. Trudy died a few years ago.

Gerard was active in many clubs and associations. In addition to BCHA, he was a member of the Alpine Club of BC, the North Shore Hikers, several computer clubs, and with a special enthusiasm for camping, photography and astronomy. He had natural abilities as a teacher and after he retired from full-time work, he became involved in teaching computer skills to school children.

Gerard had a profound regard for his fellow humans and will be greatly missed by his family, his long-time companion Alison Graham, and his many friends and colleagues in the clubs and associations to which he contributed so much, both actively and financially.

A memorial service was held at Aberthau Mansion in West Point Grey last Thursday, April 2, conducted by our current BCHA president, Dr. Sue Hughson.

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