Serge B. Martel died on 30 October 2023 at age 90 with his family by his side.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Raymonde; his daughter, Jocelyne (Warren Holmes); son, Francois; his sister, Sr. Jocelyne (OSB); brother, Emile (Nicole Perron); sister in law, Monique Lamarche; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Serge was born in Quebec City in 1932 and attended Jesuit college there and medical school at Universite Laval, graduating in 1960. Internship and post graduate training in pediatrics followed and he made a point of travelling North America and France for these programs to maximize his experiences. This international approach to medical training gave him an opportunity to learn the best from his many mentors and integrate these pearls into his own practice and teaching of medical students and internes.
Serge met Raymonde while he was an interne in Quebec City and they married in June of 1960. Shortly after the wedding, they left for Honolulu, his first posting. They worked together in Hawaii, Detroit, Paris, Oklahoma and Ottawa. The family moved to Saskatoon in the summer of 1967 where Serge provided locum pediatric care and stayed for a thirty year career in community pediatrics.
Serge had a busy practice of complex and general pediatrics He provided care in the office, the three hospitals and drove to many after hour house calls. He had a special relationship with infants and children and an ability to make them comfortable and safe in his care. Parents were grateful for his confident and reassuring manner. He was highly respected by medical students, fellow clinicians and hospital staff. He participated in teaching at the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan and would often bring internes and residents home for lunch with Raymonde. He represented Saskatchewan at the Canadian Pediatric Society.
Serge enjoyed travel, reading, international newspapers, puzzles and word games. One always enjoyed and learned from a conversation with Serge about politics or wine or history. There was wit, often subtle but sharp, delivered with a little smile that included you in the moment.
He loved Scrabble and would welcome anyone who suggested a game. Brave opponents accepted his challenge and realized quickly that he was a formidable player. In his gentle manner, he would suggest a better word you could have played with your tiles. Though many times defeated, players returned over and over again, to enjoy this small competitive pleasure with him.
He was quietly generous to all, and more so to those in greatest need. He was uncomfortable with gratitude and praise and preferred to avoid public recognition, a testament to his humility.
In his retirement, he lived a quieter life and enjoyed more time with Raymonde in their home in Sisteron France, adapting readily to the Provencal lifestyle and receiving and touring many family and friends who were lucky enough to visit them there. It was his greatest joy to enjoy the simple life in the vallee du Jabron.
At his request, there will be no service. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Sanctum Care Group or UNICEF.
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