The streets of Heaven got a brand new angel on Saturday. My pediatrician and Highland Park neighbor, Dr. Mark F. “Doc” Canmann passed away at nearly 100.

Doc and his wife, Margie were so special to all the neighborhood kids. Their yard was the one where all the kids gathered every evening to play. Margie served lemonade, Doc put together toys, and both played with all of us.

It was Doc who came by in his convertible Bonneville to gather us up to go to the Good Humor man for ice cream on a hot summer night.

When I came home for the first time from college, I had been exposed to chicken pox. They emerged the day after Christmas. Although my father was a physician, Mom asked Doc to stop by on his way home. I will never forget that this was the sickest I had ever been. I remember Doc walking in, washing his hands in the powder room, then turning to me, lying on the couch in the my most pathetic pose and saying to me laughingly, “Chicken pox!” The way he said it is imprinted in my mine.

Doc was extra special to my sisters and me, as our father did not live at home. Doc paid extra attention to us. We had a father figure and role model only two doors down.

I last saw Doc in October of 2004. My hip was fractured, and I was about to go back to work. My cousin, Barbara, was getting married, so I took a trip of freedom. Earl did not go with me, as it was the weekend of the CSU-Wyoming football game.

I spent a day roaming around the North Shore visiting the former neighbors. I stopped in on my friend Linda’s parents. They lived next door to me while we were growing up. Stan and Janet told me Doc and Margie lived just around the corner. I called, and Margie said to come on over.

Doc looked great for being in his 90s, but he was deaf, and didn’t participate in the conversation much. It was so good to see my beloved friend.

Doc married Margie late in his life. She was 20 years younger than he. She was the pretty young mother on the block. They had two great kids, Mac and Lisa, for whom I babysat. Tragically, Mac was on a business trip to Rio de Janeiro, and tried to help a woman being mugged on the beach. He was shot in the head and died instantly. Since this was only a year after my sister was killed in a car accident, it hit home too hard. Natalie was 27, Mac was 26.

I don’t know what plans there are to honor Doc’s life yet, but I don’t think there is any house of worship large enough to fit in all of “Doc’s Kids.”

5 thoughts on “Doc”

  1. Mary,

    Thank you for writing such a touching note about Uncle Mark. I will make sure that my Dad and Aunt Marge and Lisa see it.


  2. Sally, there was no one like Doc. Never will be. I’m glad you and I were good friends in HS. I remember your sweet 16 party at my house! Funny, we were both in Colorado so long, but did not connect. I’m also sorry to see that your dad, Doc’s brother, had also passed. He was a nice man also. Take good care.

  3. I was so pleased to read your article! I was doing some research and came across it. I had been going to Dr. Canmann at his office on Sheridan Road since I was about 4 years old (1978) and I just turned 40. I have such fond memories of him and the nurse at the front desk. I remember the Mercurochrome drips on the wall thinking it was blood and I was so scared to go to the doctor. Nervously waiting in the waiting room, playing with all the toys, my Mom reading a magazine…all great memories. I just learned of his passing and I hope his family is well!

    1. Fond memories for me and my sisters. Doc lived 2 doors down the street, and all the neighborhood kids played in the Canmann yard until our mothers called us home. If you go on Facebook’s “I grew up in Highland Park and I remember…..” you will enter nostalgia boulevard.

      Thanks for the post,

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