Bruce Harold Best

Bruce Harold Best

Retired surgeon Bruce Harold Best died on Feb. 7, 2006, in Friday Harbor. He was 82.

He was born on May 30, 1923, in St. Boniface, Manitoba and was the eldest of James and Florence Best’s three children.

As a young man, Bruce excelled at playing hockey and swimming and enjoyed working on his grandfather’s farm.

After earning his medical degree from the University of Manitoba, Dr. Best worked as a general practitioner in Kelvington, Saskatchewan, providing medical care to First Nations people in remote areas. He later moved to Portland, Ore., to attend the University of Oregon Medical School for his surgical residency.

During his residency, he met nurse Beverly Schou and they were married in 1952.

Dr. Best later became a partner in the Broadway Medical Clinic in northeast Portland, where he maintained a successful medical practice until his retirement. In 1973, he was elected president of Emanuel Hospital, where he frequently performed surgery.

While living in Portland, Bruce enjoyed playing tennis at the Irvington Club and sailing his boat at Portland Yacht Club. He taught Power Squadron courses, including Navigation. He attended Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he served as a deacon.

Dr. Best was a member of the Army Reserve for 20 years, where he trained MASH units for medical support in the battlefield. He retired as a colonel.

In 1986, he and Beverly retired to San Juan Island, Wash., where Bruce kept busy working on his property. He loved to split wood, make trails and enjoyed running his John Deere tractor. He also designed and made furniture, picture frames and toys for his grandchildren. There was no job he couldn’t tackle. During his retirement years, he would often remark how there were not enough hours in the day.

Bruce was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and brother. His kind and gentle nature made him a favorite to his patients and was what his family loved and admired about him most. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Beverly, of Friday Harbor; daughter, Carol Richards; son, Chuck Best; daughter-in-law, Janice; and grandchildren, Brian and Christopher Best and Elizabeth Richards, all of Portland; and his sister, Betty Orchard, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

At Bruce’s request, no service will be held. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Emanuel Medical Center Foundation in Portland.

— Bruce Harold Best family