Queen’s remembers Kenneth Wyllie, former professor in the School of Medicine


Queen’s remembers Kenneth Wyllie, former professor in the School of Medicine

Queen’s graduate founded of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery taught at the university for more than three decades.

December 4, 2023


Dr. Kenneth Wyllie

A Queen’s graduate, Dr. Kenneth Wyllie later returned as the founder of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the university.

Kenneth Wyllie (MD’55), a former professor at the Queen’s School of Medicine, died in Guelph on Nov. 16 in his 92nd year.  

Growing up in Kingston, Dr. Wyllie first attended Queen’s as a student and graduated at the top of his class with the Medal in Medicine, before continuing his studies at University of Toronto with placements at Sunnybrook Hospital and Toronto General Hospital. He then moved to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in Scotland, where he changed from thoracics to plastic and reconstructive surgery. While in Edinburgh, he won the R. L. McLaughlin scholarship. His training continued in Sweden, Italy, Germany, France, the United States, and in England where he met Mary Dunn, a skilled and sensible nurse. They would get married in England and returned to Kingston where Dr. Wyllie founded the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Queen's. Over the next 30 years, he taught many medical students burn management, and trained many surgical residents to care for people with burns, cancer, congenital differences, trauma and nerve injuries, and others in hand surgery. His passion for teaching both in the operating room and lecture hall at the university was equaled by his care for and skill in treating patients. With a generous donation from the Shriners Club, Dr. Wyllie founded a leading-edge burn unit in 1980 at the Hotel Dieu Hospital.  

Away from the university, he was a founding director of Mars Hill Radio Canada, a chaplain with Gideons International, a Sunday School teacher, an amateur radio 'Ham' operator, and a stamp collector. His fascination in God's creation led to watercolour paintings of landscapes, gardens filled with roses, and binoculars in hand to see a bird or a meteor shower. 

Kenneth and Mary travelled often to the ends of the earth to minister together, while teaching reconstructive surgical skills and nursing care in Bangladesh, Tunisia, Liberia, Kenya and others. 

A funeral service will be held in the chapel of the James Reid Funeral Home, 1900 John Counter Blvd. in Kingston on Saturday, Dec. 9, 1 pm, followed by the interment at Cataraqui Cemetery and a reception back at James Reid. The service will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person and a recording will be available at the James Reid Funeral Home for several months.   

A family obituary is available online.

In Memoriam