MONTREAL — It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Jay McMullan, a former stalwart defenceman for the McGill University men’s hockey team and a 1984 graduate from the faculty of dentistry. He was 61.
McMullan died in a Montreal-area hospital on Sunday, four days after suffering a traumatic brain injury, the result of an accidental fall from his bicycle on Lakeshore Road, a few kilometres from his home in Beaconsfield, Que.
Born John Francis McMullan, Jr. on July 4, 1959, he was raised in Pointe-Claire, Que., and attended Loyola high school before heading off to play hockey in the Maritimes. His father, who also played for McGill, practiced dentistry for 50 years, and Jay followed in his footsteps for more than three decades. Both were pillars of the community and took great pride in carrying out their responsibilities with compassion and integrity.
The son of the late Dr. John Francis (“Jack”) McMullan (DDS ’57), who captained the McGill hockey team in 1956-57, Jay was among a rare handful of father and son tandems to play varsity hockey at the University. Both were very supportive of the McGill hockey program and Jay served as the team dentist.
An example of his dedication to the McGill program occurred late on a Friday night, less than a decade ago, when he received a call from the McGill head coach about a player who had suffered a few broken teeth during a game in Ottawa. “Dr. “Jay” offered to meet the team bus on its way back to Montreal at his his office near the Trans-Canada highway and repaired the injury overnight.
After playing hockey for St. Francis Xavier University, where he earned an undergraduate degree, McMullan transferred to McGill leveraging his final two years of collegiate eligibility. He patrolled the McGill blue line in 1981-82 and 1983-84, while completing his degree in dentistry.
In 48 games overall, the 6-foot-1, 176-pound rearguard tallied eight goals and 32 points with 57 penalty minutes. One of his memorable goals was his first marker of his senior year, on Dec. 26, 1983, during McGill’s holiday tour of Switzerland. That occurred in an outdoor game which was temporarily halted by a blizzard after his goal, as McGill skated to a 9-1 victory over HC St. Moritz.
Over his 37 years as a dentist, he was described by patients as a consummate professional, deeply compassionate, genuinely kind and caring.
McMullan was a leader and mentor in his field. A past-president of the Canadian Academy of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics, he was currently serving as a committee chair in that national organization.
Predeceased by his parents, Jack and Maureen, he is mourned by his wife Heather, son Patrick, daughters Andrea and Laura, his sister Kelly, as well as an extended family of grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends.
Plans for a funeral mass will be posted here when they become available.