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On August 3, 2013, Dr. John Edward Anselmo, passed away peacefully in the presence of his family. He will be lovingly remembered by his spouse of 55 years, Janine (nee Mousseau) and by their children Antonio (Pamela), Louis-Philippe (Elan), John Michael, Suzanne Marie, Robert (Leanne) and Mark (Lorelei); his eleven grandchildren; his extended family and friends. He will be reunited in heaven with their infant son, Joseph.

John was born in Grimaldi, Italy on June 4, 1934, to Teresina Belmonte Anselmo and Antonio (James) Anselmo. He immigrated to Canada at a young age and grew up in Edmonton. He entered the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta after two years of undergraduate physiology. He graduated with his MD in 1958, followed by Internship at the Edmonton General Hospital. John chose to specialize in Surgery and underwent Surgical Residency Training at Georgetown University, culminating as Chief Surgical Resident at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington D.C. During his residency, he also trained as a Senior Assistant Resident in germ free life and organ transplantation at Walter Reed Military Hospital.

John returned to Edmonton with his young family to practice General Surgery at the Edmonton General Hospital. He was instrumental in setting up the first intensive care unit and was elected by his peers to serve as Chief of Surgery. He then moved to the newly opened Grey Nuns Hospital - he helped design as a member of the Ministerial appointed Urban Hospital Board. In the 1990‘s, John moved his main practice to the University of Alberta Hospital and practiced surgery until he retired in 1999. He served as a Clinical Professor of Surgery and was the mentor of a significant number of medical students and surgical residents throughout his career. He was affectionately known as “Big John” in and around the operating suite, his second home.

During his medical career, John was appointed by Premier Lougheed for two terms on the Alberta Cancer Board. As a member of the Board, he worked hard to improve the early detection and treatment of cancer including the introduction of province-wide early breast screening. He was steadfast in his commitment to excellence in patient care and compassion for his patients and their families.

Throughout his life, he worked hard to ensure all persons with developmental disabilities were treated with dignity and respect. He helped the repeal of the involuntary sterilization law and was recognized for his efforts by Premier Lougheed. This began a collaborative effort with the government at the time to increase educational and recreational activities for persons with developmental disabilities including the building of the recreation center and group homes at Michener Centre. As a Board member of the Society of Parents and Friends of Michener Centre, he worked with other board members to establish Camp L.G. Barnes.

The family wishes to extend a sincere thank you to the doctors, nurses and allied health professionals at the Cross Cancer Institute and the Misericordia Hospital 7 West. John was a kind, knowledgeable and compassionate human being who was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by those fortunate to have known him.

Prayers will be held on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at Connelly-McKinley Funeral Home, 10011 – 114 Street, Edmonton. Reverend Mike McCaffery will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, August 8 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Basilica, 10044 – 113 Street, Edmonton. A private interment will occur at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alberta Cancer Foundation-Cross Cancer Institute, 11560 University Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T6G 1Z2.

In Loving Memory of
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 Print Funeral Details
Prayer Service:
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
7:00 PM
Downtown Chapel
10011 - 114 Street
Edmonton, AB
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Funeral Service:
Mass of Christian Burial
Thursday, August 8, 2013
10:00 AM
St. Joseph Basilica
10044 - 113 Street
Edmonton, AB
 View Map
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