Richard Wade Sage Sutherland
Richard Wade Sage Sutherland passed away peacefully at the age of 80 on January 21, 2022. Richard was a much beloved medical writer with the Medical Post and other papers and magazines and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, jazz enthusiast and raconteur.
He is survived by family in Scotland, England, Tasmania and the US and many friends and former colleagues in Toronto. Richard’s ashes will be going to Scotland to final resting.
Richard had a generous heart and was always ready to help fellow journalists come up with killer headlines and snappy copy. He loved poetry and was an avid reader of The New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, and The New York Times.
Richard’s final years were made bearable by Sprint Senior Care and its residential facility the Ewart Angus Home. Staff at the Toronto General Hospital, Mt Sinai and Toronto Rehab (all part of the University Health Centre) showed considerable care and compassion particularly given the demands on them by Covid.
A memorial service will be arranged some time in the future. If you wish to make a donation in Richard’s name, please do so to the charity of your choice.
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I met Richard when we took a class together at the University of Toronto in 1970-71 and we remained friends for more than half a century. I visited him in Dublin when he was getting his doctorate at Trinity College and, after his return to Toronto, we met regularly for lunch. The great feature of these lunches was Richard’s incomparable ability to tell stories, which were always cleverly phrased, witty and perfectly shaped to achieve the desired effect. Whether it was a tale about his childhood in Thurso, a retelling of some historical anecdote, or a memory from his days as a parking lot attendant or salesman at Eddie Bauer’s, it was always interesting just because of the way he told it. He was incapable of being boring. Richard was also well informed about current affairs and could be a formidable debater –but never an ungentlemanly one. His conversation was also prized at the Arts and Letters Club, where he was for many years a regular at the Friday lunches.
Richard got me a job once in the field of medical journalism. I had no experience in this line of work, but his reputation was so formidable that all it took was a word from him to get me hired. “A friend in need is a friend, indeed”, as they say.
He will be greatly missed by me and many others.
Janet Fenton (Lou to Richard)
Thanks for our beautiful and smart daughter Julie, Richard, and for introducing me to Mahalia Jackson. And being so appreciative of a plate of mince and tatties that it felt more like a rare skill than an economic necessity.