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Andrew Kaegi

December 15, 2022

Andrew Kaegi

Andrew Kaegi, a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully on December 15, 2022, at the age of 80, in Whitehorse, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his loving wife Susan, his son Simon (Erin), stepson Chris (Jenn), and grandchildren Adam, David, Emma, Allison and Amelia. He is also survived by his siblings Rosemarie (Alex) and Peter, and their families.

Born in Bern, Switzerland, Andrew grew up in New Zealand, where he completed high school and earned his degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Otago. He later moved to Canada, where he completed his Fellowship in Hematology and Internal Medicine at McMaster University.

Andrew was a skilled medical professional and a dedicated practitioner. He worked as an assistant professor, director of the blood transfusions service in Calgary and Toronto, and a medical entrepreneur. Throughout his career, he was known for his empathy and his ability to connect with his patients, providing them with the best care possible. Andrew was committed to improving the lives of his patients and was always looking for new and innovative treatments.

Andrew lived with Alzheimer’s and was a passionate advocate for raising awareness about the lived experience of dementia. He was determined to help others with the disease and their caregivers by sharing his own experiences. He and Susan were invited to the National Dementia Strategy Conference in Ottawa, where their active participation helped form the basis of the National Dementia Strategy. Andrew hoped to leave a lasting legacy of awareness in Whitehorse and was always willing to talk to anyone or ask for help because of his condition. In the later stages of the disease, Andrew required more care and spent his last two years at Copper Ridge Place, where he received exceptional care. Despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic, the church community and his many close friends visited regularly, helping to keep Andrew connected, for which his family will be forever indebted.

Outside of work, Andrew had a passion for the outdoors. He loved fishing, rock hounding, and gold panning, and was always eager to explore new places, even if it meant getting lost along the way. His enthusiasm was contagious and he created many cherished memories with family and friends during these excursions.

Andrew was devoted to his wife, Susan, and shared many adventures and a deep connection during their 28 years together. He will be remembered for his kind heart, infectious smile, and unwavering optimism. Andrew touched the lives of many people and will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and colleagues.

A celebration of Andrew’s life will be held on June 30, 2023, at Whitehorse United Church at 2:00 PM (Pacific Daylight Time). A reception will follow in the church hall. For those who are unable to attend in person, the service will be live-streamed on the Whitehorse United Church Facebook page.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Whitehorse United Church or the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Comments (5)
  • 5 June 2023
    Debora Moore-Beyer

    Sending my sincere condolences for your great loss.

  • 7 June 2023
    Beth Culp

    Thank you Susan, for sharing Andrew with me through your telling of stories. Even though I never met Andrew, I felt as though I knew him through your eyes and heart. So much respect for him and you. My condolences to you dear Susan, the family and all whom he touched with his heart. He will be remembered with love.

  • 11 June 2023
    Colin Fitzpatrick

    I first met Andrew in 1960 when he joined our student Flat in North Dunedin. There were 4 of us, 2 Meds and 2 Divinity Students. The Div students were eight years older than us and tended to take life a little more seriously. Andrew tended to study late at night and was very noisy in the bathroom. This earned him a lecture from one of the Divs. After a week or 2 we learned to live together. Andrew was always passionate about
    being a doctor.

  • 26 June 2023
    Deb Bartlette

    I was honoured to be a member of ‘team Andrew’, a small group of people (me, Barb and Doug) who regularly visited Andrew when he went into care. During that time, and before that, when we would go for walks in the neighbourhood and on the local trails, Susan and especially Andrew taught me a lot about supporting people with Alzheimers. When we were walking, two things would always happen if we ran into someone. Either Andrew would say, after introducing himself (he was always very polite) ‘I have Alzheimers’, and then go on to explain a little about it. People generally listened. Or the person would say ‘you were my doctor’ and then tell a story of how much he had helped them. On our visits once he was in LTC, I learned a lot about New Zealand and Switzerland, gold panning and fishing, and his family. Looking at pictures would always prompt stories, and when the stories no longer came, smiles and good feelings. He loved listening to church music and John Denver songs. Early Beatles too. More than a few times we sang ‘She Loves You Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” together in his room at Copper Ridge; during COVID we had to visit there and only there. Even as Andrew’s ability to communicate declined, his love for Susan always came through. Thanks to my experiences with Andrew, I am still a regular visit at Copper Ridge. I’m sorry to miss his celebration of life. I’ll be on a plane, heading to the far north of the Yukon for a hiking trip, something I know that Andrew would have appreciated. D

  • 7 July 2023
    Leo Boon

    Only discovered today that Andrew, the man who saved me, passed away. I was fortunate to have been introduced to Andrew by 2 nurses at Whitehorse General, where I laid in and of conscienceness for 8 days. Andrew talked to me at length and then convinced my family physician to medeavac me south for treatment. Although the Vancouver doctors only gave me 48 to 72 hours, I managed to survive. Thank to Andrew’s patience to listen to a person and thanks to his insistence of getting me the care. That was 20 years ago. What a wonderful man he was, so thoughtful, so supportive.

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