John Wales - Founding member of ABCD

Author: 
Dinesh Nagi, Chair, ABCD Committee
Date of the announcement: 
Thursday, 14 September, 2017

I am extremely saddened to advise you of the unexpected death of our Founding Chairman, Dr John Wales who passed away suddenly, in his sleep, whilst on holiday in Finland.  John’s funeral took place in Acaster, Selby, North Yorkshire on Friday 1/9/2017 with a private family burial. Professor Ken Shaw and Dr Chris Walton were able to attend and represent ABCD at the following memorial service. I have sent a personal message to Barbara, John’s wife and will write to her on behalf of ABCD.

We all knew John as a highly committed professional and diabetologist whose whole working life was spent at the General Infirmary at Leeds and indeed that is where, as a young registrar, I first met John in 1986.  He inspired many young doctors, including myself, to take up careers in Diabetes and Endocrinology and, more importantly, to take up research.  John retired from full time Medicine some 10 years ago and continued living in Acaster Selby where he was an active member of community.  John was a typical Yorkshire man, who would help anybody in his life.

His memorial service was very simple with, as John expressly wished, no eulogy. I have however learned that in his personal life John had a great love of music and indeed spent time composing music. Arguably John’s greatest legacy is the founding of ABCD almost exactly 20 years ago, jointly with Prof Ken Shaw and Dr Richard Greenwood and nurturing the Association with drive and determination through the difficult early years.

We owe John a huge gratitude for his vision and leadership.  He will be greatly missed by all of us but his work dedicated to improve the care of people with diabetes can inspire us as an Association to grow from strength to strength, and fulfil his ambition for ABCD and for the care of people with diabetes.  ABCD is exploring several options to commemorate his work and the huge legacy he leaves behind.

Dinesh Nagi
Chair ABCD