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Alan Murray Wiley


Alan Murray Wiley

Born 1925, Died 2020

DR. ALAN MURRAY WILEY M.C.H., FRCS, FRCS (C) 1925 - 2020 Orthopaedic surgeon, altruist, naturalist and family man died peacefully in his sleep on December 27, 2020, at "the farm," the place he loved most.

Murray was the beloved and devoted husband of the late Pamela (2008), and father to their six children, Jane (Paul Meakin), Bridget, Hugh (Kelly Pope-Wiley), Kate (Glen Sumner), Alison (Joel Rochon) and Sarah (Angus Murray). His loving sister-in-law, Tessa Underwood, survives him. He was born in Cork, Ireland, son of Arthur and Lesley and brother to Margaret (predeceased).

Ray's childhood by the sea, fishing in the fast rivers and sailing the coastal waters instilled in him a lifelong love for nature and the outdoors. He excelled in rowing and academics, with triumphs for the Leander Club, Henley-on-Thames and Trinity College Dublin (the River Liffey), where he received his medical degree. Like many of his generation, Murray did service in the army on graduation. He was honoured with the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by young Queen Elizabeth for his humanitarian work while serving in the Malayan conflict.

In Malaya, he worked alongside Pamela Underwood, a sparkling British nurse who caught his eye and later became his wife of 52 years. The young couple settled in Oxford, England, where Murray pursued further training at Radcliffe Infirmary, and they started their family.

Ambitious and adventurous in spirit, when an invitation came to join a new team of orthopaedic specialists at Toronto Western Hospital, Murray and his young family took the ocean liner crossing to begin their new life in Canada. Murray established his career and built his practice over 40 years at TWH. He was a caring and compassionate physician. A pioneer in the new field of arthroscopic surgery, Murray was one of the first surgeons in North America to introduce the technique of shoulder arthroscopy.

He was recognized as a Founder for his work by the Arthroscopy Association of North America. He received international recognition from The International Congress for Diseases of the Shoulder in Helsinki. Murray was also a well-respected Associate Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Toronto and authored numerous papers, including a seminal book on shoulder arthroscopy.

He mentored many young interns and physicians. Murray and Pam shared their home with a rotation of visiting physicians from the US and overseas. Mid-career, Murray was a Founder and Partner of Canadian Trauma Consultants Limited, the first business offering medical expertise for law firms and insurance companies. A career physician, he continued to see patients into his 90s, as his expertise remained highly valued by the medical community and patients.

As Murray's career prospered, his family grew in rapid succession. He was a devoted father throughout his children's lives, supporting their endeavours and dreams, celebrating their achievements, comforting and guiding them through grief and loss. A voracious reader, lifelong piano player, classical music enthusiast, lively raconteur and the life of the party, Murray loved high-jinks and practical jokes and astounded family, friends and colleagues with the audaciousness of his imagination, the creativity of his make-work projects, and the wealth of his knowledge, particularly in matters of world events, military and natural history.

Murray's happiest place was "the farm," located in the bucolic Hockley Valley, where he and Pam built a country home that continues to be the family gathering place. The consummate outdoorsman, here Murray pursued his other passions and interests, including tennis, skiing, horses, birding, duck hunting and gardening. He was an early adopter of solar panels, which he installed on the property, and his conservation efforts included a managed woodlot.

His much-loved dogs were free to roam. Murray and Pam completed many challenging and long-distance hiking expeditions in Europe and Canada in his later years. They enjoyed spending time with their children and ten adored grandchildren (Sarah, Claire, Madeleine, Alex, Jack, Kate, Will, Sam, Lucy and Hugh). Murray inspires his family and all who know him by his example of generosity and selflessness, compassion, his countless acts of quiet kindness, his spirit, resilience, intellectual curiosity, and rigour. He leaves behind this legacy.

A Private Family Service has taken place. Following Murray's wishes, his ashes will be scattered at a later date at the family farm, and the family graveside, in Cork, Ireland. If desired, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Mark's Anglican Church, in Orangeville or the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Memories, photos, and condolences may be shared at:

Published by The Globe and Mail from January 9 to January 13, 2021.