On Saturday April 18, 2020, we mourn the passing of Dr. Jan Thorleif Braaten at the age of 83. Jan was born on January 21, 1937 in Oslo, Norway to Thorleif and Randi Braaten.
Dr. Jan Braaten completed his degree in medicine at the University of Oslo in 1962. Jan’s curiosity, ambition, and sense of adventure led him to receive training, practice medicine, and conduct research in several countries around the world. This included time in Norway, Denmark, Republic Democratique du Congo (Zaire), Ottawa Canada, and several states in the United States, including Massachusetts, Texas, and Florida. Jan settled down in Ottawa and was hired as a professor at the University of Ottawa and was a physician at the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. During this time, he conducted research focused on diabetes and continued to see patients regularly. Jan genuinely cared for his patients and was known to listen carefully and take the time that was needed to help address their challenges. His hard work was recognized when he received the Frederick G. Banting Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association in June 1985.
Jan was a calm, kind, and genuine person. As a father he wanted the best for his children and encouraged them to follow their interests and passions. He loved the outdoors and spent time on Calumet Island, along the Ottawa river, where he built a cabin with his sons. He enjoyed going for hikes, canoe rides, and cutting down trees for memorable campfires. He had a passion for building things throughout his life including sheds, chairs, and he even a seasonal outdoor rink in his backyard for his son Arthur.
As he got older and developed Alzheimer’s disease, Jan retained his genuine personality. He was always kind and greeted everyone with a smile. Jan kept things in perspective for others by pointing out the absurdities of life – like the large number of cars parked on the streets. Although he became a man of few words, he made sure to use those words to thank those around him and to let his loved ones know that life was still “good”.
Jan was preceded in death by his wife Margaret (Peggy) Lowe Braaten, his father, Thorleif, his mother Randi and his sister Bitte. He is survived by his brother Bjorn and his four boys, Thorbjorn, Torgeir with his wife Donna, Torstein with his wife Michelle and Arthur with his partner Jesika Walker. Grandfather to Axel, Claire and Mats. Jan will be greatly missed by all.
Jan’s celebration of life will take place at a later date.
A private cremation has taken place.