Eric, aka Doc O, passed away peacefully on January 27, 2018 with his wife, Lacey, at his side.
He is predeceased by his mother, Helena Irene Olson, and older sister, Christine Vander Gaag.
Eric is survived by his wife and “liver of his loofah” Lacey, father, Norman, siblings: Valerie (Gary), Shelley (Kirk) and Tim (Wendy), son, Kirk, ex-wife and mother of his children, Rita, daughter, Jessie (Peter), son, Michael and granddaughter, Helena, as well as nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.
Eric was many things, a multi-faceted gem and absolutely larger than life. From humble beginnings as a rebel and high school dropout, he was never afraid to chase his dreams, which culminated in his commencing a new career as an addiction medicine specialist at an age when most are considering retirement.
In the years between, Eric became an accomplished chef. He then attended university and medical school in Alberta. He interned at Royal Jubilee Hospital and did a short stint at Saanichton Peninsula Hospital, before moving to Lake Cowichan, where he practiced as a family doctor for many years, making house calls up until the day he retired.
Eric appeared on stage with the Kaatza Lakeside Players countless times and was an avid gardener, golfer and cook. He was famous for the most wonderful pies, cookies, roast beef dinner and “best stuffing ever”.
At the time of his passing, Eric held 31 years of sobriety. He managed this incredible feat by working it until it worked. He was very generous with support, but he also received an abundance of it himself. Growing up, our house was always open and the phone could ring all hours of the night, but Eric always answered because he knew what it meant to be alone with your thoughts. He genuinely cared about each and every person that he encountered through his work as a doctor and as a member of AA.
Eric touched many lives with his gigantic hands and heart as a friend, doctor, sponsor, son, uncle, brother and husband.
Most importantly, he was a father and he was so damn good at it, even with all of the other commitments in his life. He had the best advice, even if you did not want to hear it, and when you did not heed it, he was always there to hold you up and love you anyway. Our hearts are raw with the loss of our Dad.
Special thanks is given with gratitude to the palliative nurses and especially to Dr. Rimmer, who also made house calls while his kids waited patiently in the car. Thank you, we know exactly what you gave and your dad was a great comfort to us.
A heartfelt thank you to Regan Carey and his wife Doris, who always visited and stepped in to help with transportation when we could not. You were true friends to him every step of the way.
Also, to “Bill” and “Joe” who continued to visit until the end and even brought the meetings to Eric on a number of occasions. That is the true spirit of the program, and all of us, including Dad are so grateful to you.
No time on earth is ever enough to share with the ones you love. Eric was beloved by his family and friends and we will honour him by remembering the laughter and love we shared throughout the years. A celebration of life will be held at the Cowichan Golf and Country Club on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
Online condolences may be made at www.hwwallacecbc.com