Dr. Frank Duff Passes Away at 90

Posted: February 7, 2024 10:28 am
By David Salter

Well-known physician Dr. Frank Duff has passed away at the age of 90. Dr. Duff was born and raised in St. John’s and earned his degree in Medicine from Dalhousie University in Halifax NS in 1957.

As a young physician, in the late 1950s, Frank and his new wife, Shannie, travelled to Europe to serve as the medical officer for the Canadian Embassy in Denmark and Germany. These three years were the first of many shared travel and cultural experiences Shannie and Frank were to treasure.

Following a five-year residency program in Orthopedics at McGill University, the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Montreal Neurological Institute Dr. Duff returned home as one of four Orthopedic surgeons in the entire Province. For many decades he practiced orthopedic surgery in St. John’s.  He served as Chief of Orthopedics at the General Hospital 1972 to 1978, during the very challenging transition from the old General Hospital to the Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Duff especially valued the opportunity to serve as an Associate Clinical Professor with the Medical School of Memorial University.

Dr. Duff was one of the first surgeons to perform joint replacement surgery in Newfoundland and Labrador following a month of study and observation in Davos, Switzerland. In 1973, he was a member of the first Canadian medical delegation to China, the first western delegation to enter China following the Nixon visit. He also undertook additional training in sports medicine and medical legal litigation.

As president of the NLMA, he initiated a program in co-operation with the Department of Health to recruit a team of doctors to provide essential medical services to the Labrador West Hospital during a critical shortage of medical services in this region. He led by example by being one of the first to volunteer.

In 2023 Frank was made a Lifetime Member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association in recognition of distinguished service in medicine.

Frank is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Shannie (Frecker), his children, Frank (John Okuloski), Suzanne (Claude Bovet), Siobhan (Jim Hibbs), Stephanie, Iain (Robyn Reesman), grandchildren Meaghan, Mitchell and Madelyn Hibbs, Suzanne and Jane Keats, brother Michael (Kathleen Loder,) and a large circle of extended family. Frank is predeceased by his parents, Michael and Mary Duff, his sisters Joan and Marie and his infant brother Douglas.

Dr. Duff is resting at Carnell’s Funeral Home. Funeral will take place for 11:00am, Saturday.

Scroll to top