Dr. Sylvia Renard
It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Sylvia Renard on November 20th, 2023, after a short illness.
Sylvia Renard was born on September 22, 1935. She was an only child to Dr. Peter Renard, a cardiothoracic surgeon who specialized in heart surgery and the treatment of patients with tuberculosis and Olga, who was a full-time homemaker.
Sylvia, or Sylvie as she was known when she was young, attended the Alliance Francaise and showed promise as a gifted child from a very young age. She had a voracious appetite for learning and was always reading books from Greek mythology and history to classical literature, a trait that would last throughout her life. She was highly intelligent and extremely capable and managed to skip two grades by the time she graduated high school. Her interest in medicine led to her studying for her D.D.S. at dental school, and she later specialized in paediatric dentistry and gained further qualifications in public health and management.
While attaining her dental degree, she was crowned with a beauty queen pageant title of her university for her striking good looks and donated her prize money to charity. She also worked tirelessly in oncology wards and for the Red Cross as a volunteer.
She started her private practice as a fully qualified dentist and went on to marry and have four children who she adored and to whom she was devoted.
Sylvia had a strong sense of civic duty and worked tirelessly as a dentist, helping thousands of patients, even if it meant being called out in the middle of the night to deal with medical emergencies.
In her time as Director for the Saskatchewan Dental Plan in the 1980s, she managed ten teams of dental therapists who provided universal dental care to all children in the province from ages 4-13. She implemented a program to reach people in remote areas to make dental care accessible to all and became a “Flying Doctor” who travelled in small seaplanes, often in stormy weather conditions and blizzards, putting her life at risk to reach patients of all backgrounds and was beloved by many people, some of whom had never visited or even seen a dentist before they met her. She loved dental health so much that she was even known to hand out apples and new toothbrushes rather than candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. She was a natural who used her charm, expertise, and calm demeanour to put patients at ease and comfort during dental checkups and reassure them throughout more difficult procedures.
She pioneered and further promoted the concept of good dental health in schools at a grassroots level, and one of her proudest moments was that the province of Saskatchewan once achieved the highest proportion of children receiving dental care in all of North America.
She was dedicated to raising funds for her local church, participated selflessly in charity drives for earthquake victims, and raised money for hurricane relief, animal welfare, food banks, and homeless shelters.
Her hobbies, especially in retirement, included gardening and tending her veggie patch as well as fostering a passion for roses and orchids; acquiring antiques; attending classical music concerts and musicals; doing yoga and aqua fit swim classes; speed walking around Beaumaris Lake; playing canasta and chess with friends; cooking up some tasty treats in the kitchen; shopping for elegant, sparkly clothes and adding to her extensive shoe and handbag collection.
Although she loved travelling the world from tropical destinations to the cultural highlights of Europe, she was never happier than sitting down to a candlelit table heaving with delicious food served on fine china with crystal glasses filled with champagne. Her ultimate joy was laughter, interesting conversations and happy times surrounded by her beloved family.
Her kind and generous spirit, compassion, fearlessness, towering intellect, sharp sense of humour and joie de vivre will be sorely missed. Still, her family takes comfort in the fact that they have a lifetime of wonderful memories to cherish.
Sylvia was pre-deceased by her parents, Dr. Peter and Mrs. Olga Renard and her husband Dr. Charles Walker. She will be lovingly remembered by her children Paul (Jan) Walker and family, Peter (Joyce) Walker and family, Cessy (Mark) Hyde-Harrison and family, and Patrick.
A private family interment will take place at Rosedale Cemetery in Moosejaw, SK.