Shared by Carl Gessner on 14th November 2018

I worked for and with John in the early 1990s as a resident and fellow at Duke. He was a great teacher, mentor and friend. I was always amazed at his brilliance and wide range of skills and knowledge not just in medicine but life in general. While he certainly helped develop me as a physician I will particularly remember how much he improved my ability as a writer during the time I worked with him. It was clear to me that John always took his job as a  professor seriously and was committed to the institution and developing those around him to their full potential. And boy, what a way with jokes and stories.  He could really make you laugh! I know I and many others will miss him but have many fond memories.

Shared by Deborah Fisher on 12th November 2018

I recently found and reread two letters John wrote for me 7 and 9 years ago.  These were in support of my applications for a committee assignment and for Fellowship in the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.  He was a vivid writer and a strong sponsor and mentor.  He was also a dear friend.  He was proud of my accomplishments and encouraging during rough times.  One of my favorite memories is that he titled the document file for one of the letters "YouGoGirl".

Shared by Alex Colquhoun on 10th November 2018

Some 3 years ago, I reconnected with John, a fellow Scot, in the endoscopy suite at VCU Medical Center. We instantly bonded, sharing stories, experiences and enjoyed working together. John’s knowledge, technical skill and incisive wit, were formidable. After work we enjoyed an occasional game of golf.

Since his surgery, Linda and I have observed Alison’s constant care, supported by family, and John’s determination in fighting for recovery, before terminally, succumbing to failing health. 

Although untimely taken, good memories remain. The words of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, are apposite –

            An honest man here lies at rest, 

            As e’er God with His image blest: 

            The friend of man, the friend of truth;

            The friend of age, and guide of youth:

            Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,

            Few heads with knowledge so inform’d:

            If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;

            If there is none, he made the best of this.

Alex & Linda Colquhoun

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