Warren Yunker Obituary Calgary AB Mourn the death of Warren Yunker

Warren Yunker Obituary, Death –  We mourn the tragic death of 46-year-old Warren Yunker, husband of Rebecca Sparkes and father of Adam and Eric. Warren is from Morden, Manitoba. Keith, Shirley, and Leanne raised him in St. Albert, Alberta. He made longtime acquaintances in St. Albert through school and lifeguarding and swimming instruction (but would have rather forgotten his part-time job at Bonanza). He enjoyed many excellent times with Brian, Wayne, Erin, and Steve, and their families have been important to him for 30 years.

At the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Warren earned a Bachelor of Science, PhD in Cell Biology and Physiology, and MD. After Rebecca relocated to Calgary for her Medical Genetics residency in 2003, he kept dating fellow medical student Rebecca Sparkes, whom his buddy Erin called “a far better choice” than Warren’s previous relationships.

After two years apart, Warren and Rebecca were pleased to be in the same city again and to say goodbye to the numerous weekend trips on Highway 2, frequently when one or both was post-call and in all kinds of Alberta weather! Adam was born in 2008 after their 2005 Banff wedding. Warren completed pediatric ENT surgery speciality training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where Eric was born. They were thrilled to return to Calgary in 2011 to start their careers at Alberta Children’s Hospital, despite loving Texas barbeque, warm weather, and wonderful Mexican food (ACH).

Warren loved being a surgeon and adored his ACH Sensory Clinic and operating room team. He was recognized in the hospital for his sarcastic sense of humor and his motto, “living the dream.” He treated his young patients and their families with kindness and humor. He kept the children’s notes, drawings, and gifts on his shelf, even though he hated clutter.

Warren loved skiing and golfing and taught Adam, Eric, and Rebecca. Running, motorcycling, and deep sea fishing were his hobbies. He liked scotch, wine, and cigars. He and his family traveled to the UK and Egypt in his final years. His newest “bucket list” item was shark jumping off Central America, much to Rebecca’s disgust. This journey was canceled due to the COVID19 pandemic, and he never had the chance to reschedule.

After being diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 2018, Warren persevered as a clinician, educator, mentor, and academic at ACH and the Cumming School of Medicine. He was delighted to start a new business after inventing an app for children’s peri-operative pain management. ACH’s 2022 Distinguished Service award was bittersweet, but he was touched.

As his health developed, Warren became concerned about and often frustrated by inequalities impacting persons with physical disabilities. He noticed that neurologic patients’ quality of life was constrained by limited access to medical care and rehabilitation services not covered by the provincial health care system and inadequate funding for appropriate adaptive equipment. Despite his own hardships, he aspired to improve things for others, especially those without enough personal, social, or financial resources.

Unfortunately, Warren’s condition took away his favorite hobbies, independence, and surgical and medical career. Despite his family and colleagues’ support, he committed suicide due to the disease’s toll on his bodily and mental health. Mental disease, incapacity, persistent pain, and suffering are catastrophic. It emphasizes the need to remove shame and secrecy around these concerns, including suicide, and to keep talking about them. We must keep raising awareness and supporting each other.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.