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Tribute to Dr Richard E. John from SVG Nationals Association of Washington, D.C.

Tribute to Dr Richard E. John from SVG Nationals Association  of Washington, D.C.

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Fri Aug 23, 2013

The funeral of the late Dr Richard E. John of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States, who departed this life on Thursday, August 1, 2013, took place at the Mount Jezreel Baptist Church, Silver Spring, Maryland, on Tuesday, August 13, 2013. Interment was at Mt Olivet Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

He was born to the late Richard S. and Mable John on May 8, 1929, at Belair, St Vincent, W.I. He received his early education in St Vincent, and attended the St Vincent Grammar School. He travelled to the United States to further his education. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Morehouse College in 1957, and his Doctorate of Medicine from Howard University, Washington, D.C. in 1961.{{more}}

Dr John established a family medical practice and served the Washington and Maryland communities for more than forty years, even to patients who were unable to make financial payments. His patients, who affectionately called him “Doc,” would often pay for services with fruits, eggs, sweets or a promise to pay later. He was appointed Chief Medical Officer of the Washington, D.C. Police and Fire Clinic by the late Chief of Police, Maurice Turner. In this capacity,

he provided medical services to Secret Service agents, and Washington, D.C. police and firemen. He was a Redskins season ticket holder who never missed a home game, and would often share one of his tickets with a friend.

When Vincentians in the Washington metropolitan area got together to form the St Vincent and the Grenadines Nationals Association of Washington, D.C. (SVGNA) in the late 1980s, and were unable to find a meeting place; Dr John offered the use of his medical office on Capitol Hill. Dr John was a true father and elder statesman of the Vincentian community in the national capital area.

In 2007 Dr John made the difficult, but patriotic, decision to return to his native land, St Vincent and the Grenadines, where he set up a small practice. His mission was to provide health care to the people of SVG. He also wanted to simply enjoy the beautiful island of his birth, quietly watching the sunset from his estate at Twenty Hill.

The large congregation at his funeral included many of Dr John’s former patients; colleagues from the medical profession, including five members from the Howard University School of Medicine Class of 1961; Dr Gilbert Daniel, who took over his practice; members of the Vincentian community; representatives from SVGNA; Alston “Becket” Cyrus, and former Ambassador of SVG to the USA, Kingsley C.A. Layne.

In his remarks at the funeral service, Ambassador Layne, who was among Dr John’s clientele, praised his years of dedicated service to the people of Maryland, the District of Columbia, SVG and everywhere. He said that the deceased practised his profession in the finest tradition of the Hippocratic Oath.

Dr John is survived by his wife, Sarah Frazier John; one son, Richard E. John III; one brother, Ian John of Barbados; a sister, Gloria John of SVG; stepdaughter Michelle Buckner and her husband Larry Buckner; and many other relatives and friends. Dr John’s first wife, Barbara, the mother of his son, preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death were a sister, Shirley John, and brothers Frank and Michael John.

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