Richard Brian Fast, beloved family doctor, passed away peacefully at the age of 82 on November 18, 2023 in Whitehorse. Born in Winnipeg on September 13, 1941 to a Mennonite family, he followed his own father into the practice of family medicine, and considered it a special honour to participate in the arrivals of babies into this world.
At age 20, he married Mary Jean McDonald, and together they became the joyful parents of three daughters while he pursued medical school at UBC, and his internship in Victoria.
He served in the Canadian Navy, and during his time on naval vessels, he developed a love of all things nautical, eventually choosing to live on a sailboat named Jilaki with his partner Margaret.
After completing his naval commitment, Dick accepted a position with the Yukon government as a general practice physician, based in Whitehorse and later Faro, where his love of the outdoors led him to an ongoing exploration of the wilderness surrounding the town, with vigorous solo hiking, whitewater canoeing, camping by small plane, and a notorious fireside poker circle with several of his closest friends.
He could also be called upon to stand in happily as stage ham in local theatre productions. He loved his patients, and often went to unusual lengths to help them, which included a number of baby deliveries in the helicopter en route to Whitehorse General Hospital.
After leaving the Yukon, he lived in Tofino, BC, where he hand-constructed a tiny hexagonal home on Vargas Island, by means of a unique winching system that delivered materials up a cliff from a herring skiff pitching below in the surf.
His final years were spent in his beloved Atlin, where he thrived on getting to know the local community through their shared love of the northern outdoors. He is survived by his partner Margaret D’Arcy; his daughters Laura Marquardt (Gilbert), Kirsten Kane (Thomas), Jill; and his brothers Glen (Lisa), Charles (Lori), Harry (Emily), and Dave (Bonita).
The family wishes to express heartfelt gratitude to the staff of Whistle Bend Continuing Care Facility for their extraordinarily kind care during Dick’s final days.
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