Ian was born in Chopwell, northern England and attended the HMS Conway School from 1941-43.  Upon graduation, he joined the merchant marine and served as a navigation officer until 1947. Ian immediately enrolled in Durham University Medical School, graduating in 1953 and joining a rural practice in Rothbury, England.

In 1955, Ian married Anne Bittermann and they began their life of adventure by emigrating to Canada in 1956.  Ian worked in primary care in Manitoba and Saskatchewan before settling in Madsen, northern Ontario. He continued to develop as an excellent clinician and he and Anne became involved in the community and started their family. They explored new opportunities in 1964 when they moved to Burlington, Ontario where Ian and Patrick Sweeney eventually formed the Caroline Medical Group. Ian continued to practice until he retired in 1992.

Anne and Ian had three children Jane (Richard (d.), Joelle), David (Brenda, Leighton, Madsen) and Mary (Steve, Riley, Adrian) and family was central to Ian’s life. He initiated fun family vacations skiing, camping and travelling back to England.  Ian loved to swim and used to begin the day on holidays with a hearty, “last one in the lake is a rotten egg” while taking off in a mad dash down to dive off a local dock. He lived life big and you couldn’t help but be caught up in his enthusiasm.

Ian had a life of curiosity and learning. He loved his work as a general practitioner and looked for ways to try new things and improve care, both for individual patients and the health care system and social supports in the community. Ian loved to interact with new doctors and he was a great mentor for many practitioners. He conducted research with university partners into supports for seniors living alone and conducted groundbreaking research into the education and integration of nurse practitioners into primary care.

Service to the community was central to Ian’s sense of self.  He was instrumental in founding an Anglican Church in Red Lake, was active in St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Burlington and St. John the Divine in Victoria. Ian provided support to several senior projects and a local food box program. Ian wrote letters and lobbied governments to ensure those who needed supports would have them.

Ian had two other passions – golf and gardening. Twice-a-week golf games were enjoyed with friends at Burlington Golf and Country Club. Any free evenings included a garden wander to water plants and pull weeds. Weekends included many large landscaping projects over the years.

In 2014, Anne and Ian moved to Victoria; no small feat for two seniors! They both settled into their new west coast life with the same sense of openness and engagement that has marked their time together.

Ian’s health had been failing for the last few months. He was determined to enjoy Christmas as all the family was home and in true Ian form, he did what he said he would do.  He loved his family and that love lives on.

In lieu of flowers, donations encouraged to The Church of St. John the Divine and Royal Jubilee Hospital.

A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018,  2 pm, with a visitation to be held prior at 1.15 pm at The Church of St. John the Divine, 1611 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens




  • Céline Morisset
    January 26, 2018

    Dear Jane and family, my deepest condolences for your loss. My mom always spoke well about your parents. She had many positive memories about their time together. Sending you warmth and love in this difficult time.

    Best regards.

  • Bill Livingstone
    January 6, 2018

    (From an Irish teacher to an English doctor.)

    Oh Mary this ‘Chopwell’s a wonderful sight,
    There’s people here working by day and by night,
    They don’t sow potatoes nor barley nor wheat,
    There’s gangs of them digging for gold in the street.

    Condolences from Bill Livingstone and family. Burlington.

  • Stéphane
    January 4, 2018

    My condolence. Sounds like he was quite a man that lived a life of great adventures and accomplishments. Sorry for you loss.

  • John Aitken
    January 3, 2018

    Sharon and I were so saddened to hear of Ian’s passing.You were two people I so enjoyed cooking with and will always recall, with great fondest, our times together in the kitchen at St. Christopher’s.
    We have another connection that I am so pleased to share with you. I read of Ian’s early research into the value of nurse practitioners – Joshua’s wife, our youngest son who was married this summer, is working on her Masters in Nursing and upon graduation will also have her Nurse Practitioner’s Diploma.
    Take care of yourself,Anne.
    Our deepest sympathy, John and Sharon Aitken

  • Paul Morisse
    January 3, 2018

    jane,Joëlle and family

    My condolences. I will remember Ian as a gentle, compassionate soul who was always interested in what you had to say. Whether it be photography, golf or the internet or really any subject, Ian loved to discuss it. I always looked forward to Anne and Ian’s visits to Ottawa. Rest In Peace Ian.

  • Richard and Joan Boesveld
    January 3, 2018

    This is Richard and Joan Boesveld in Waterdown ON. We want to express our condolences to you Anne and to the family. Ian (Dr.Hay) was our family Dr. and gave us exceptional care. He delivered 3 of our 4 children and not only was our physician but also a friend. Ian demonstrated kindness and care in all his interactions with our family. Ian’s influence and interaction started much earlier when he was building his beloved garden on Crestwood Ct. and he hired young twins Henry and Richard (aka Dick) to help move soil, plant shrubbery, maintain lawn etc etc. From this early influence Henry has gone on to build a successful landscaping business and Richard to teaching and now in retirement full circle back to Garden maintenance. Thank-you Ian and Anne for those early lessons and those wonderful grilled cheese lunches in your kitchen. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Anne, Jane, David, and Mary and families. With love and fond memories. Richard & Joan

  • Sharon McKee
    January 2, 2018

    Dear Anne and Family. I am so sorry to hear that Ian has died. He was very special to me and I will miss talking to him.

  • Barbara Gobis
    January 2, 2018

    Dear Mary,

    Although I did not meet Ian, I feel that I know him through the many fine qualities in you. I’m thinking of you and your family today as you gather to celebrate your Dad’s life and legacy, and wish you comfort and peace.

    Love always, Barbara

  • katharine Slater
    January 2, 2018

    Dear Jane
    So very sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.
    Katharine and Robert Slater

  • Angela, Sanj and Annika Cudhail
    January 1, 2018

    Dear Jane, Joelle and Family,

    Our deepest condolences to you and your family on the passing of your father and grandfather. I hope the memories you made together wrap you like a warm blanket. You will feel your father’s love always. We are here for you if you need anything.

  • Jim Kraemer
    January 1, 2018

    My sincere condolences to Anne, Jane, David, Mary and families. I am so sorry to hear of Ian’s death. He was an amazing man who excelled as a family physician, mentor to young physicians, researcher and primary care innovator. A man of many interests who was full of curiosity and who was always striving to improve the status quo. He was a wonderful person and it was a pleasure and a privilege to have worked with him.

    Jim Kraemer

  • Jonathan Sussman
    January 1, 2018

    Ian was a mentor of legendary stature, to whom I owe so much including my first post as a family physician and the approach I learned from him to care for the whole person. My deepest condolences to Anne and the Hay family.

  • Bill & Barbara Tannyan
    January 1, 2018

    We have good memories of a quiet, dignified, family man: Ian you were very special. Our sincere condolences Anne to you and your family. You are in our prayers.
    Barbara & Bill Tannyan
    St. C’s

  • Tom and Terri Durcan
    January 1, 2018

    Condolences to Anne and your family
    Ian was always so supportive to me and other younger doctors in Burlington
    His combination of friendship, enthusiasm and integrity made him a leader in the community for many years

  • Bill & Dorothy Smith'
    January 1, 2018

    Dear Anne and Family, We were so sorry to hear Ian had died. He was a very special man to a lot of people. We always enjoyed his telling of ~the famous seaside place called Blackpool and Albert`s stick with the horses head handle.

  • Brenda Wines Moher
    December 31, 2017

    With great love to the entire Hay family I send my condolences on the passing of my dear friend Ian. He was a true gentleman who enriched every life he encountered. His support of his family,friends and community was never more evident than in his work with the Halton Fresh Food Box. I will be forever changed because of my interactions with him. May he rest in peace knowing he made our world a better place. Love to you Anne and your family at this sad time.

  • The Steplock's
    December 31, 2017

    Please accept our deepest condolences. Dr. Hay was our family doctor in Burlington. 50 years ago last May he helped deliver me. My mother, Rena, still says “he was the best doctor, and hasn’t seen a team as good as Dr. Hay & Dr. Sweeney since!”. I recently drove down Caroline street in Burlington thinking of Dr. Hay as I passed the old home where the office was prior to Caroline medical center.

    Our condolences
    Rena, Glenn & Lisa Steplock..

  • Kate Hunter
    December 31, 2017

    Dear Ann and family,
    It was with deep sadness this morning when I read about Ian. He was such an enthusiastic, humorous and kind man with just a hint of a Geordie accent. After our years in Burlington it was great to reunite with you both in Ravenglass England. My love to you Ann and your family,. My sympathy and thoughts are with you in your loss
    Kate Hunter

  • Jerry and Marsha Berman
    December 30, 2017

    Ann and family

    I was Ian’s accountant for 35 years and my wife and I were very close friends with the Hays. We golfed at BGCC and had many meals there also.

    But Ian got us special Kosher Chicken pies made at his church just for us.

    Rest In Peace Ian.

    You were one amazing friend and we loved you dearly.


  • Marjorie Shearn
    December 30, 2017

    Dear Anne and Family –
    I Know that Gord, Winn and Jim would want me to send our love and thanks for your friendship and caring over so many years. Ian’s contribution to the community and the church in Red Lake will not be forgotten. Holding you in our prayers.

  • Gail Kendall
    December 30, 2017

    Anne, Jane, David and Mary:
    He was one heck of a father to the end. He was a most humble man for all his many talents. He made a difference to our community in so many ways.
    Not only was he our family Doctor for 40 odd years, but one of our oldest friends. Funny, you knew you could never get him in the office between 12-2 p.m. The reason was that he had a daily date with “The Nooners” at the YMCA to work out.
    Somewhere up there he will be playing golf with my Dad..and Heaven will have more planting advice than they know how to deal with .
    We had many times together, both happy and sad..but NEVER dull!
    Rest in peace my friend.
    Gail and John Kendall

  • Jack & Jo-Anne
    December 30, 2017

    Dear Mary and family,
    Thank-you for sharing such a wonderful account of your father’s life. It is inspiring for us in that he touched so many lives while he was living life and will continue to inspire those he helped with his kindness. We never had the chance to meet your father, he is undoubtedly a true gem of this world.
    Sending love and strength to your and your family.
    Jack, Jo-Anne, Aidan, Willem and Thomas.

  • Gail and Don Osborne
    December 30, 2017

    Dear Anne and family,
    We are saddened to hear the news of Ian’s passing. We had the pleasure of knowing and working with him for more than twenty years. Ian was a true gentleman, and we will miss his enthusiasm, commitment and good humour.

  • boswell
    December 30, 2017

    Our condolences to the family and best wishes for the future–

    Gerry and Sandy Boswell

  • Ted and Gail McFarlane
    December 30, 2017

    Ted and Gail McFarlane offer our deepest condolences. We wish we could be with you at the Memorial Service.

  • Lloyd and Nellie Woudstra
    December 30, 2017

    Dear anne and fam.
    Our condolences with the passing of your husband and father.
    We loved him for looking after us. He was a great doctor. Wishing you all the best.
    lloyd and nellie woudstra .

  • Ray and Violet Bozek
    December 30, 2017

    Our condolences to the Hay family. Ian was a beloved family doctor, friend and golfing buddy.
    Ray and Violet Bozek Burlington Ontario

  • Normand & Dorothy Fortin.
    December 30, 2017

    Hi Jane & Joel
    Our condolences in the passing of your dad and grandpa. Dot and I will be with you in our thoughts and prayers. Condolences also to your mom and the rest of the family.
    Norm & Dot

  • Deborah Harford
    December 30, 2017

    Dearest Annie, Mary, David and Jane,

    I am so sorry to hear of Ian’s passing. He was such a wonderful man – so funny, enthusiastic and affectionate. As a Brit living abroad who is great friends with Mary and has spent much time with her and her boys, Annie and Ian always felt like family to me – like parents away from home. I always loved talking to Ian, who spread warmth and smiles wherever he went. I will miss him, and am truly grateful that I had the great pleasure of knowing him. Sending so much love to the whole family.

    Warmest regards,

  • Anne Hales
    December 30, 2017

    Auntie Anne and our Canadian cousins.
    So sorry to hear this news. We are holding you all in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
    Anne and Andrew.

  • Lynn Fortin
    December 30, 2017

    Dear all,

    You are in our thoughts even though we are far away. We feel truly privileged to have known Ian – a lovely and generous man who clearly loved you all very much. Hugs and kisses. Lynn and Alicia.

  • Anne Bethune
    December 29, 2017

    Mary and family
    Sending my warm thoughts and best wishes to you Mary and your family at this difficult time of loss. What a pleasure to read this story of your father Mary. He lived an extraordinary life well lived and left a legacy of a beautiful loving family. I know you will find comfort in the many beautiful memories and moments shared with him that will always be with you.

  • Wendy Strelitz
    December 29, 2017

    My sincere condolences to the family on the passing of your beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather and friend. May you rejoice in remembering what a positive impact he had in all who were fortunate enough to know him. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Leave Condolence

Type your condolence message into the box below and click "Submit". It may take up to 24 hours for it to appear. Your email address will not be published.


Search Website

Unique Family Aftercare
Service >