Our View: Former hospital doctor dies

Former Edgewood outpost hospital doctor dies

A former Edgewood doctor has passed away.

For over two years, 1951-1953, the Red Cross Outpost Hospital at Edgewood had a resident doctor, Dr. Stevens T. Norvell Jr.

He died in St. Johns, NL, on Feb. 7 of this year, four days short of his 92nd birthday.

Dr. Norvell came to the Arrow Lakes in 1950 with his wife, Dorothy, soon after completing his medical training in the USA.

The young American couple felt that war was the greatest evil of human-kind and wished to live in a country that promoted peace.

They were enthusiastically welcomed by the community of Edgewood where there was an outpost hospital needing a doctor. His patients came to the outpost hospital from Edgewood, the Inonoaklin Valley, Fauquier, and Needles, though often Dr. Norvell drove to see them. The roads were all narrow gravel tracks, only one or two telephones in each community, and no electricity before hydroelectricity was connected to most households during the mid 50s. Very few people even had flush toilets.

After experiencing the very limiting challenges of the remote rural setting, Dr. Norvell left after two-and-a-half years for a residency in surgery at the University of Alberta. From there, he moved to England for two years and then on to Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia in 1961.

There he taught surgery until his retirement training hundreds of surgeons now scattered across Canada.

He created the Examination for Residents of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons.

The Norvell Prizes are still awarded each year to the top performers in each year of training in all 17 Canadian medical schools.

In his final years, Dr. Norvell lived with his son and family in St. John’s, NL, where his son, Theodore Norvell, is a Professor of Computer Engineering at Memorial University.


Besides his son, Dr. Norvell is survived by his daughter, Dr. Cynthia Norvell. She is a family physician in Laytonville, CA.