Gabrielle “Audrey” (Pontifex) McArthur (Public Health Diploma 1959)

Audrey McArthur

Audrey McArthur on her 98th Birthday


Gabrielle Audrey McArthur (friends, family and colleagues will know her as Audrey) graduated from the Royal Columbian Hospital nurses’ training program in 1938. She worked full and part-time in hospital and public health settings until she retired at age 60. Mom took the 1-year public health diploma program at UBC in around 1959 or 60. She finished off her career as a public health nurse with the City of Vancouver. She was a caring school nurse, a welcome visitor to many homes, and was known for her prenatal teaching skills.  She enjoyed many years of retirement and was 104 at her passing. Up until age 100, she was strong of mind and body. Her last 4 years were lived at Arbutus Long Term Care, the staff there describe her as gracious, independent, and accepting of the limitations of very old age. COVID may have been a factor in her death, as she tested positive at the beginning of December but was cleared of it later in December. Unfortunately, she fell on Boxing Day, she slipped away after that.

Another interesting aside about mom was that she was amongst the first group to receive a new heart valve via the femoral artery (she was part of a research project at St Paul’s). This was done when she was about 90. She’s probably one of the longest living to have that procedure.

By her daughter, Susan Vicars, January 2021

Obituary Vancouver Sun and Province