'Hal' Lynge with his wife Amy.

'Hal' Lynge with his wife Amy.

Noted neuro-surgeon was in our midst

"Hal" Lynge loved his West Coast home

In many communities there are people who quietly go about their lives never attracting attention and rarely seeking it.

One of those people is the late Harold “Hal” Lynge.

Harold Norman Lynge died on Aug. 26 in his apartment in San Francisco. Many in the Sooke area will not know of Lynge, but he was a part-time resident in the Shirley area for 19 years.

A child of the Depression, Lynge went on to become a prominent neurosurgeon  in San Jose California.

He was the son of poor, Danish immigrant parents. The rugged prairie life instilled in Lynge an appreciation for life and what came from hard work. The family had moved to Vancouver seeking work during the drought years. They never wanted to give up their farm and worked at any jobs they could get. They picked fruit, his mother kept house and his sister sold beauty products, while Harold took a job delivering for a grocery store. Hal’s first job after high school paid a quarter an hour and he saved up enough quarters to enroll in the University of Saskatchewan and later onto medical school at McGill and the Mayo Clinic. He met and married Patricia Govier and they moved to San Jose, California from Winnipeg in the late 1950s.

The two of them travelled to Vancouver Island and found the 10 acres where Lynge would build a home. He told his wife, “you now have a retirement home.”

“They came up on holidays but Lynge never used the home regularly until he retired.

Patricia died in an auto accident in 1976 and by 1985 he had met the woman who was to become his second wife, Amy Cole. They would have celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary on Sept. 15.

They spent six months of the year in Shirley.

We love the West Coast,” said Amy. “Harold said he knew he had to have the place the first time he saw it.” Happily ensconced in their waterfront home, the Lynges loved all things Sooke. This included the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, Sooke Days and the bluegrass music. Harold was an avid walker and horseman with a wicked sense of humour and lack of hubris.

When Harold’s health began to deteriorate he was determined to see his home in Canada one more time. He was on his way to Shirley from San Francisco when he stopped in Seattle and blacked out. This was the beginning of the end for Lynge, who never again saw his beloved home on the wild, West Coast.

He died peacefully at home and is survived by his wife Amy, his sister Marie Garrison, five children and step children and seven grandchildren.

He never forgot his small town roots in Saskatchewan and Shirley, even though he gained distinction in his chosen field of medicine.

“It meant everything to him,” said Amy. “He loved Vancouver Island.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Protestors against old growth logging gather in front of the courthouse in Victoria on Thursday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fairy Creek protesters gather at Victoria courthouse

Logging company seeks injunction to remove blockades near its Port Renfrew operation

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read