M.B.B.S., M.Sc., FRCSC
April 17, 1942 - November 24, 2021
With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Rex Wendell Jordan. He was the youngest of 4 high-achieving boys, born to Basil and Gladys Jordan in St. John, Barbados. A pioneering spirit, Rex knew he wanted to be doctor from an early age. He specialized in sciences at the Lodge School and won a Barbados Scholarship in 1960. He went to the University of the West Indies Mona Campus in Jamaica where he excelled academically and exploited his musical talents as he earned his M.B.B.S. Rex became the Junior Registrar at the University Hospital where his mentors pointed him to Canada. And in 1968, Rex took up his Residency in General Surgery at the University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, over 4,000 miles away from his Barbados upbringing. In 1972 he earned an MSc. and took his F.R.C.S (Canada, General Surgery).
In October 1973, Dr. Rex Jordan moved to Drumheller to become a Consultant Surgeon at the Drumheller Regional Health Complex. After meeting and marrying his soulmate, Bonnie Tretiak, in April 1980, Rex settled permanently in Drumheller where he built an extraordinary career in general surgery and where he was one of the visionaries of the Drumheller Ambulance Service. He worked 7 days a week and was often on call 24 hours a day. He produced a prodigious volume of life-saving work, performing over 26,000 surgeries in his career. He was a member of the Drumheller Associated Physicians and was a valued leader in the medical fraternity where he was respected and admired by colleagues and associates, who referred to him as “Captain, El Presidente and affectionately, Baje”, a nod to his Barbadian origin. Rex loved what he did and was an exemplary practitioner of his craft. In 2016, following his retirement, he was honoured by the Drumheller community for 42 years of dedicated service. He was a woodwork hobbyist of note. He loved his tools and mowing the lawn. Rex was a music enthusiast and cut a swashbuckling and charming figure to all with whom he came into contact.
In addition to strong professional support systems, Rex and his beloved wife Bonnie forged lasting friendships in Drumheller with fellow West Indian practitioners Jeff Chung (deceased) and his wife Nellie and Sherman “Tony” Forsythe and his wife Marian. They, the Lecuyers (Carol, Stewart, Dean, Teresa and families) and more recently, Paul and Brittany Audette were his Drumheller family. Though physically far away, Rex was larger than life, and his love and guidance were strongly felt throughout their lives by a cohort of Jordan nieces and nephews in Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica. Rex was pre-deceased by brother Oscar and is survived by older brothers Rolph “Frankie” and Basil “Junie” Jordan and his life partner, Bonnie whose love and dedication were beyond compare, a comfort to him and to those who loved him.
Rex’s family acknowledge the support of Drumheller Health Care Services, especially the Home Care Staff. Our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Dereck Maseka and in lieu of flowers, Bonnie gratefully requests that his memory be honoured by contributions to the ALS Society of Alberta, 7874 10 St NE, Calgary AB T2E 8W1. Donations can be made online via: https://www.alsab.ca/donate
Rex’s life will be celebrated privately. Condolences, memories and photos may be shared at Courtney-Winters Funeral Home, courtneywintersfuneralhome.ca.