Walter Wylie Rosser

Rosser, Walter Wylie CM, MD, CCFP, FCFP, MRCGP (UK), FCAHS

It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce Walter’s passing, peacefully, on Sunday, October 2, in his 81st year, after a brief illness. 

He leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Janet (nee McClung); his children, Tom (Jennifer) and Nancy (Scott) and grandchildren, Anna, Fletcher, Holden and Jacob. 

Walter was an accomplished and exemplary clinician, teacher, researcher and leader in family medicine for 55 years.  

He served as chair of four of the five family medicine departments in Ontario: University of Ottawa; McMaster University; University of Toronto and Queen’s University, his alma mater, where he was a professor emeritus in his final years. The Walter Rosser Chair in Family Medicine, a position established in his honour by his peers at Queen’s in 2017, is a testament to how well-respected he was among his colleagues.

His professional accolades are long. Among them are the 2008 lifetime achievement award from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). He received the Order of Canada in 2010, for helping to advance the field of family medicine and for contributing to the evolution of primary care research in Canada. In 2012, he was honoured by the CFPC’s W. Victor Johnston award, which recognizes renowned Canadian or international family physicians who have made an outstanding leadership contribution to family medicine in Canada or abroad. Walter did both. His collaborations stretched through the Americas and the Caribbean, Europe and Oceania.  And in 2015, he was recognized as one of 20 pioneers in family medicine research. That is just a sampling of his achievements. 

While Walter was highly accomplished in academia and research, he never lost sight of practicing medicine and thousands of people over the years were lucky to have him as their physician. He was a passionate defender of Canada’s public health care system.

Walter had every reason to be proud, but instead he was humble, kind, patient and caring.  He was generous and had a genuine interest in everyone he met.  His smile and warmth will be deeply missed.   

An in-person celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 130 Clergy St E, Kingston, ON K7K 3S3. The service will also be livestreamed. To participate virtually, please email Walter's family at least one day before the ceremory at WalterRossermemorial@gmail.com. The link to the livestream can be found HERE.

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Ottawa Heart Institute or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.