OWEN, Dr. James E. L.


(01/08/1948-09/02/2021) – Peacefully at the Sault Area Hospital on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 Dr. James “Les” Owen passed away after a courageous battle with cancer with his wife and best friend Elaine at his side.

Beloved father, role model and mentor of Dr. Diana Owen (Dave Polman) of Ottawa, Ontario and Dr. Carolyn Owen (Dafydd Griffith) of Calgary, Alberta. Cherished grandfather of Graham and Emily Polman and Euan, Gareth and Bronwen Griffith. Les is survived by his brothers, Robert Owen (late Maureen) of Dorset, England and Eric Owen (Eleanor) of Cambuslang, Scotland. Linda Patrick (Roy) of Edinburgh, Hilary Dabson of Wokingham, Ronnie Joyce (Barbara) of Glasgow and Crichton Joyce (Brenda) Glasgow. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews in the United Kingdom.

Les graduated from the University of Glasgow School of Medicine in 1971 at the age of 23 and went on to study Anaesthesia at the Royal Infirmary of Glasgow before he and Elaine decided to embark on the adventure of a job in Canada. They travelled to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan expecting to return to Scotland after a few years but ultimately made Canada their new home. In 1980, they moved to Sault Ste. Marie where he worked many years in Anaesthesia before transitioning to work in Chronic Pain and Sleep Disorders then finally part time in the Emergency Department. He was passionate about his career in medicine but his focus was entirely patient centred as he had no interest in hospital politics and bureaucracy. He had a wealth of knowledge that went well beyond medicine but he never used this knowledge to make other people feel inferior. Les was a man who could answer any question or would not rest until he had read and researched to find the answer. He believed that no one was ever too young to start learning or too old to continue.

Les and Elaine loved to travel and had the fortune of visiting varied countries from less traditional countries like Russia, Vietnam, Czechoslovakia and Hungary to popular destinations such as Italy, Greece and Australia but health issues and the COVID pandemic had prevented that more recently. Over the last few years, he had generously taken his children and grandchildren on a number of holidays believing that time and memories with family were essential.

The family would like to thank all the friends and neighbours who supported them through his difficult time. They would also like to thank the many healthcare providers including paramedics, VitalAire, HomeCare and the incredible staff at the Sault Area Hospital. To Dr. Spadafora and her team and Dr. Sharon Beuhner, your compassion will always be remembered. A special thank you to Dr. Karen Booth who went above and beyond to guide and care for Les through his final days.

No funeral services will be held due to COVID but a celebration of life will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Sault Area Hospital Foundation would be appreciated by the family.

Arrangements entrusted to Arthur Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel (492 Wellington St. E. – 705-759-2522). Please visit Arthur Funeral Home website obituaries to leave memories and condolences as a keepsake for the family.