Jana Wieder

22 October, 19499 October, 2020

Helping thousands of patients live better lives, supporting her family’s transition from post-Holocaust Europe to peace in Canada, and delighting in the academic and personal success of her daughter (Yolana Wassersug) were the hallmarks of Dr. Jana Wieder’s life. On October 9, much too early, Jana died, after a life filled with tremendous purpose. She will be missed.

Jana was born in 1949 in Znojmo, a small town in southern Czechoslovakia. Her parents, Emil and Helena Jockel, both Holocaust survivors, had experienced immeasurable loss and intense suffering. They encouraged Jana to study and take advantage of any opportunity to improve her life. When she was 18, Jana was working in Austria when the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia. Her parents urged her to remain there, but love for her family drew her home, and she returned to Czechoslovakia for her medical studies. Twelve years later, she immigrated to Canada, arriving in Toronto to establish a new life. Her English was rudimentary and her early years here were lonely and hard.

In 1984, Jana moved to Halifax where she established many deep and lasting friendships. She was particularly devoted to the local Jewish community and the congregation at Shaar Shalom Synagogue. She finally started to feel at home. When Yolana was born, Jana transitioned from her medical speciality to general practice, and started her work at Family Practice Associates. During her 30-year career as a family doctor and obstetrician, she guided her patients through the milestones of their lives. She delivered babies, offered advice and support to new parents, and helped innumerable patients manage chronic illnesses, overcome addictions, and live well. It was the whole patient she cared for – giving equal attention to mental health and physical wellness. Many of the babies she delivered grew up, and had children of their own who also became her patients. Jana had a deep, personal understanding of the challenges newcomers face in Canada, and she provided care and advice to the families of countless immigrants and refugees, going above and beyond what people expected from their doctor.

Her home was in the south end of Halifax and Point Pleasant Park was her refuge – a place for long walks and talks with her friends. She listened and watched the CBC and world news with passion; discussing political and social issues became a vital part of her life. She never took what Canada offered for granted. Among her patients and her friends, Jana was respected and known as an excellent listener, a source of clear and candid wisdom, and the best possible person to have around during a crisis or emergency. A meal of her favourite Czech dishes, provided to family and friends, was an added bonus.

About 20 years ago, Jana was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder that caused severe pain, yet she continued to work. Her illness gradually affected her lungs, and she developed interstitial lung disease. When she could no longer talk to her patients without coughing, it became clear that it was time for her to retire. She left her work reluctantly, and missed her patients deeply. She truly loved to practice medicine.

The only thing Jana loved more than her work was her family. After settling in Nova Scotia, she could assist her brother, Pavel Jockel, his wife Klara, and their two energetic sons, Tom and Dan, to settle in Halifax. They were as devoted to Jana as she was to them. The family began to grow with Yolana’s marriage to Sam Worthington and Tom’s marriage to Pimsiree Phromwong. Tom and Pimsiree’s little son, Henry, was a source of utter delight for Jana (“Bubby Jaja”). Her family was with her on a daily basis during her last few weeks.

Jana’s parents also immigrated to Halifax with support from Jana. Her mother, a former teacher, became a renowned Holocaust Educator. Both have predeceased Jana. Jana was buried on Friday, October 9, at the Shaar Shalom Cemetery. The family will continue sitting shiva at 5881 Spring Garden Road on October 13 and 14, welcoming visitors from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Should you wish to honour Jana’s memory, these two causes were important to Jana: the Lung Association of Nova Scotia ( or the Atlantic Jewish Council’s fund for Holocaust Education (


  • Shiva

    Tuesday, 13 October , 2020

  • Shiva

    Wednesday, 14 October , 2020


Jana Wieder

have a memory or condolence to add?

June Kingston

11 March 2021

A deeply caring physician and friend. Jana reached out in support of our son when , as a King's student , he was hospitalized. She visited him and hosted me in her home. We became good friends and spent a week together in the Costa Rican cloud forest studying Spanish and having fun. Her passing came too soon. I miss her openess, warmth ,intelligence passion and energy.
I cannot imagine how her family feel. May time soften the pain of your loss. June

Robyn MacQuarrie

10 March 2021

To the family of the late Dr. Jana Wieder:

It is with deep regret that Doctors Nova Scotia received word of the death of your family member, Dr. Jana Wieder. I know I speak for all our members when I extend to you and your family the association’s sincerest sympathy.

Doctors Nova Scotia has made a contribution to the Memorial Fund for Nova Scotia Physicians in memory of Dr. Wieder. The fund was established in 1975 to honor the memory of its deceased members. The income from the memorial fund is used to support the education of students in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University.

Sincere personal regrets,

Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie
President, Doctors Nova Scotia

Lyuda Strelyaeva and Yuri Geshelin

5 November 2020

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends. The patients of Jana.

Milan Horacek

21 October 2020

Mily Pavle a Klaro:

I was deeply saddened to hear of Jana's passing.
Pavle, thank you so much for making an appointment with Jana for me when you noticed my incessant coughing at Dusan's place. Jana saw me at her nearest opportunity and made instantly a correct, unexpected diagnosis. She took care of me for one year before her retirement. Even though I only met her briefly, Jana impressed me by her warmth and professional competence. I have missed her since her retirement.
Deepest condolences to you and to the entire family.


Heather S

19 October 2020

I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Wieder's passing. She was such an amazing doctor. She had such great directness, sense of humour, and was so very competent. My condolences to her loved ones.

April Hannah

18 October 2020

My sincere condolences to Doctor Wieder’s family. She was my doctor and my family’s doctor for many years and I considered her apart of my family. Doctor Wieder was there for so many milestones and tough diagnoses. She was also a huge fan and supporter of my daughter. I have many lovely memories of this magnificent and wonderful lady. She will be remembered with love by April and Kirsten❤️.

Bonnie Cluney

17 October 2020

Deepest condolences to the family. Dr Wieder was my Doctor for many years, and will be missed.

Bonnie (Lavone) Cluney

Brenda Gillis

17 October 2020

Deepest condolences to Dr. Jana Wieder's family. So sad to hear of her passing. She was my Dr for 30 years, I was heartbroken when she had to retire, but her health was more important. She loved her job, and she was the best doctor - so caring with her patients. If I was sick, she was always there for me, as well as many more I am sure. She had a beautiful heart, and she never complained, even when she was towards the end of her career. She tried so hard to get a replacement for her patients - but she was irreplaceable.
May it bring you comfort to see how much she is missed.

Kristin Thompson

17 October 2020

Dear Yolana and Family,
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Jana Wieder. She, as my physician for 30 years, helped guide me through some challenging times. Yolana, as your former grade four teacher, I remember her accompanying us on a class trip to Ross Farm, where we had a tour of the farm and a lovely picnic. It was such a beautiful day! Jana was a wonderful person and a brilliant doctor. I have missed her since her all too early retirement, and I offer to you my sincere condolences.
Kristin Thompson

Toni Fried

17 October 2020

Dear Yolana, Pavel, Klara, and family, I was shocked and saddened to hear of Jana's passing. Although I have been living away from Halifax for a while, I have wonderful memories of my time there with all of you. I remember Jana always taking a keen interest in what I was doing with my life, like I was family. From reading her obituary that's how she treated everyone, like family. I wish you strength during this difficult time. Love, Toni

From the Family