Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Dr. Robert Neil Beck
January 2nd 1926 – March 28th 2013
Physician, Gentleman, Doting husband and Caring father.

Neil died in Saskatoon after a lengthy illness surrounded by his loving family. Left to mourn his loss and celebrate his life are his devoted wife Irene, daughter Dr. Maxine Beck and husband Kelly Prodanuk (Michael, Alexandra), son Brian and wife Jennifer 9Matthew, Justin), brother-in-law Dr. George Pylypchuk and wife Shelda (Stephanie, Andrea, Christina, Lesia, Christopher and Dr. Stephen Pylypchuk) nieces and nephews (Patricia Campbell, Dr. Roderick and Collin Bell). Neil was predeceased by his parents John and Matilda Beck, sister May, half brother Dr. John, half sisters Jean and Kathleen, and his inlaws Rt. Rev. Myron and Stephania Pylychuk.

Neil was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland attending Belfast Academic Institute, and Queen’s University of Belfast where he received his M.B., B.A.O.,BCh.(Honours) in 1948 and his M.D (Internal Medicine and Pediatrics) in 1952. He worked as a resident in several hospitals in the U.K. including Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and had fond memories of his Fellowship years in Endocrinology at New England Medical Centre in Boston, Massachusetts.

As a young Endocrinologist Neil accepted a position at University Hospital Saskatoon, becoming a Full Porfessor. He offered high quality, meticulous, honest and hands on compassionate care to his patients. His areas of greatest clinical interest were the management of diabetes, thyroid, and pituitary disease. During his career Neil was instrumental in establishing the Diabetic Education Centre at University Hospital which championed a team approach to diabetic care. He also enjoyed dedicating spare time to Camp Easter Seal at Watrous for diabetic children. Neil took great joy in teaching medical students and residents, becoming program director for Internal Medicine. He was equally feared and revered by his students at Saskatchewan but generally respected for his dedication to them.

Neil met Irene in Saskatchewan and they were married in Vancouver, June 26, 1961. Neil and Irene complemented each other and provided a wonderful home for their children. Neil taught his children the importance of being honest, working hard, and respecting others especially those less fortunate.

Neil’s interests were varied and included the arts, athletics, literature, nature, architecture, and hunting. He was keen on trying new things and shared them with his family. He will be sadly missed but always fondly remembered. His spirit lives on in us.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to their close group of friends, and medical staff for their ongoing support through the last difficult years.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Neil’s memory to the Canadian Diabetes Association, a charity that held Neil dear to his heart, 104-2301 Avenue C North, Saskatoon, SK. S7k-5Z5.

A private family burial was held at Woodlawn Cemetary.


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