Dr. Thomas Briant M.D., FRCS(C), FACS

Obituary of Dr. Thomas David R. Briant M.D., FRCS(C), FACS




Dr. Thomas David Briant passed away on April 5, 2021, peacefully at home at The Briton House with his wife beside him, after several years of declining health.  David was born in Toronto, son of Dr. Thomas E. Briant and Cora (nee Bosworth).  His young life was spent in Welland, Ontario, and he attended Ridley College in St. Catharines and Trinity College at the University of Toronto.


David met Constance Joan Martin at Trinity College and at the young age of 23 they married and started a family.  David and Connie juggled post-graduate work, babies and careers thereafter.  Jane appeared a year after marriage, and Tom appeared three years later.  Ellen was a permanent reminder of their year in England. Although David worked hard, being at the hospital by 7:00 a.m. each day, he made a priority of being home for dinner with the family.  Vacations canoe tripping in Algonquin with the family, and later staying at the family cottage on Lake of Bays were all hugely important to him.  He and Connie travelled the world and were keen opera fans, enjoying many opera tours internationally.  They took the unusual step of buying a vacation home in Costa Rica 25 years ago and spent three months there each winter during retirement.  David also loved flying, owned several airplanes during his life, and he and Connie had many adventures flying across Canada. David was always very supportive of Connie’s career as a professor of economics at Ryerson and never considered offers to move to the United States. During retirement they were both active members of the Arts and Letters Club where Connie used her training as an opera singer, and David learned stage management for the Annual Spring Show.


David graduated from the University of Toronto as an M.D. in 1955, then specialized in head and neck surgery in Canada and did a Fellowship at Middlesex Hospital in London, England.  He eventually became the Chief of the Department of Otolaryngology at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and Head of the Division of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Toronto. He published 76 learned papers and wrote two chapters in books as well as doing an award-winning movie.   He also took a keen interest in facial plastic surgery and was an early adopter of the external approach rhinoplasty.    He was a member of Council of the American Society of Head and Neck Surgery from 1986-89 and was involved in many other medical societies.   He mentored 13 fellows, practically all of whom were recognized by the program of the American Society of Head and Neck Surgery.


David and Connie celebrated 68 years of marriage in 2020 and remained devoted partners. Along with his wife Connie, David leaves behind his children; Jane (Bill Mackenzie), Tom (Heather Briant) and Ellen (Chris Vyse), four grandchildren: Julia Mackenzie (Stephen Andersen), Dr. Allison Mackenzie (Spencer Bain), William and Ian Vyse. He became a great-grandfather in 2018 with the birth of Beatrice Andersen. He also leaves his sister Diane Smith, her daughter Karen and her family in Windsor.  The immediate family live close by and have been actively involved in his care in his last years.  David lived a very active, accomplished and fulfilling life.  We will miss him. The family would like to thank Felina Tampongco for her wonderful care of our Father, especially during the pandemic.


Due to Covid restrictions, the service will be live-streamed and the details can be found on the Humphrey Funeral Home website.  The burial will be for family only.   Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.


© 2021 Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel Limited. All Rights Reserved.