Dr. Tom D. Jeyachandran
February 28, 1929 – March 8, 2013
A bon vivant and rascal right to the end, Tom went into the hospice on Thursday and decided to leave us on Friday. You couldn’t enter his home without being offered a glass of wine, friendly advice (sometimes much more advice than you anticipated) and book recommendations. Widely read, Tom had a broad knowledge of history, politics, literature, sociology, and homeopathic remedies. He didn’t vote on principle (“what for? they are all the same”), enjoyed a good brunch with his family (be it eggs & bacon, dosa or dim sum) and eagerly awaited dusk to savor his wife’s homemade wine. He didn’t start cooking until he retired but his soups became legendary. Born in Malaysia he grew up in Tamil Nadu in southern India. Tom contracted his traveling bug at the tender age of 12 by hopping a train. After getting to know the stationmaster’s family and learning another way of life, his father picked him up days later. In the 1950s, he moved to England to work in northern England. It is here that he met his Yorkshire bride, Anne, and started a 50-year adventure together that spanned the globe, including Algeria, Canada, India, England, Ecuador, Brunei and many places in-between. At last count, they had visited over 55 countries and only last week he was talking about traveling to Argentina. For Tom, traveling the world was more than stamps in a passport. He was interested in meeting people and experiencing different cultures all his life. He worked many years in northern Canada where he was known as the “Flying Doctor” for the clinics he did in remote areas. He believed in community medicine and knowing your patients before diagnosing and treating. He retired as a medical officer for Canadian Foreign Affairs. Coming full-circle his last posting was to New Delhi, India where he had taken his first job as an office clerk at the age of 19. Tom had an amazing capacity to get to know people and within minutes of meeting you, he would know your life story (and again be willing to offer some advice!). His laughter and stories will be remembered by friends around the world, especially his friend of over 70 years, Arunachalam; the two octogenarians would call each other almost daily to share what they were reading and thinking. His capacity to share his thoughts with a non-judgmental insight and humor served him and his family well. Tom is survived by his wife, Anne and his five children, Fiona, Arun (Sonia), Ravi (Nina), Auroshakti (John) and Tanya as well as his niece Lynda (Patrick) whom he invited on a Canadian adventure when she was 14 and has been part of the family ever since. In addition, he leaves his sole surviving sibling, Rita, many cousins, nieces and nephews and lastly his two grandsons, Paris and Jordan whose hockey and soccer games he loved to watch. Five months ago, after his cardiac arrest, Tom told everyone that came to visit him that he had lived his life, done what he wanted to do and pestered whom he needed to pester. His family invites all who knew him to raise a glass, remember their favorite Tom anecdote or his best “pestering” advice and celebrate a life well lived. In respect of Tom’s much repeated wishes there will be no service or funeral. Instead there will be a celebratory gathering to be held on April 6th. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Leprosy Relief Canada.