Dr. Vladimir Sistek

22-Sep-1931 - 07-Sep-2022

Obituary Overview

In Loving Memory

Vladimir Sistek, M.D, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Vladimir Sistek, treasured patriarch to his family, friend to many and a teacher to thousands, on September 7th, 2022 in Ottawa, in his 91st year.

Vladimir will be deeply missed by his beloved wife, Jirina (nee Hubschmannova), who stood by his side for 62 years. His loving children, Jirina and Jan, and his spouse Gabriella, will miss their weekly canasta games, long talks, and shared adventures.

Vladimir was in constant awe as to how his family of five grew over the years. He took great pride in and loved all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was the cherished grandfather of Veronica, Christina (Michael), Justin (Cheryl), Katrina (Mark), Lia (Andy), Philip and Jordan. He was blessed  to watch his great-grandchildren grow: Persephone, Audrey, Isla, Felix, Morgan, Lawson, Madelyn, William, Riley, Owen, and Lucy. Vladimir’s loss will also be felt by all his loving and supportive extended family and friends. Vladimir was predeceased by his parents, Josef and Anastasie (nee Serkalova), sister Slava, daughter Vladana, and son-in-law Brendon.

Vladimir was born September 22, 1931 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Becoming a doctor was the natural result of his affinity for science and fascination with the human skull. Vladimir studied at the Charles University Faculty of Medicine in Prague from 1956 to 1959. 

By the age of 28 Vladimir secured himself a position as a surgeon at the Third Surgery Clinic in Prague. It is at this point that he met his beautiful wife when her sister, Milena, brought him to the family cottage at Mechenice. The two of them hopped on a motorcycle for their first date and started their life’s journey together. They shared their joys and faced every adversity head on, hand-in-hand.

Vladimir went on two sea journeys as a ship doctor traveling to Cuba, Australia, England, China and other countries. When, in 1966, his paper was accepted at a medical conference in Italy, he and his wife had a very memorable trip there, followed by a most adventurous family trip to Odessa in 1967 in a Trabant.

The invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviets in 1968 changed the family’s life forever. Vladimir and Jirina made the incredibly brave decision to flee their homeland with their three children for destinations unknown. Luckily, they landed Ottawa, Canada on December 10, 1968, where they were joined by Jirina’s brother, Tony, a few years later. In one car with two tents the family explored their new homeland and the US in two epic trips, one to the West Coast and one to the East Coast.

After passing his medical exams here, Vladimir became a part of the Medical Facility of the University of Ottawa. Starting out as an anatomist, Vladimir soon began to make outstanding contributions to academic life. He was a major force in curriculum reform efforts and played a critical role on almost every block committee, including chairing the First Block. In everything he displayed outstanding leadership qualities  to get the impossible done. And he succeeded.

It has been said that as a teacher, Vladimir could teach anything in anatomy, and he did it with such humour, gentleness and wisdom. Recognized for his talents, he was voted by the student governing body as the Honorary President of the Aesculapian Society, twice in his career. He was also twice named Honorary President of the Graduating Class, in 1975 and in 1997. In 1985 and again in 1993 he was presented with the Bristol-Myers-Squibb Award for Excellence in Medical Teaching. In 1981 he received the University of Ottawa-APUO-Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching and he has been recognized with a 3M Teaching Fellowship in 1986. The Faculty of Medicine presented Dr. Sistek with the Award of Excellence in 1992 and with the Architect Award in 2003. He was given the title of Professor Emeritus.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Greystone Retirement Residence for their kindness and care. Condolences and Sharing Memories at www.capitalmemorial.ca.

Cremation has taken place. Friends may pay respects at the Capital Funeral Home & Cemetery, 3700 Prince of Wales Drive,  on Sunday, September 25, 2022 after 12:30 p.m. A Memorial Service will follow in the Chapel at 2:00 p.m. Inurnment to follow the Service. For those unable to attend the Memorial Service at 2:00 pm, Livestreaming of the service will be available. To Pre-Register for the Live Stream option please  Click HERE.

In lieu of flowers donations to the University of Ottawa or the Bruyère Foundation would be appreciated. Condolences and Sharing Memories at www.capitalmemorial.ca.

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
(excerpt from the Hippocratic Oath)

Funeral Details

  • Memorial Visitation

    Capital Funeral Home & Cemetery

    Event Times:

    25-Sep-2022 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

  • Memorial Service

    Capital Funeral Home & Cemetery

    Event Times:

    25-Sep-2022 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

  • Live Stream

    Capital Funeral Home Livestream Service

    Event Times:

    25-Sep-2022 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

  • Inurnment

    Capital Funeral Home & Cemetery

    Event Times:

    25-Sep-2022 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

More Details & Directions

Condolences from family and friends

Posted by Radka & Etienne Lalonde | 01-Oct-2022

Our most sincere sympathies to the entire Sistek family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during these difficult times.

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Posted by Peter Ludwig | 25-Sep-2022

To Jirina and family, Our condolences on the passing of Dr. Sistek, Surgeon, Professor, Scientist, Father and friend to many. These four white lilies for your family remind me of the white doves that find their way like Dr. Sistek peacefully home. Your friend and neighbor, Peter Ludwig, Esq., CPA, CA OTTAWA, CA - and - Marc Gan SEP 25/22

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