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1931 Wilbur 2024

Wilbur Cant

November 5, 1931 — May 8, 2024


Dr. Wilbur (Bill) Francis Cant, 92, passed away peacefully on May 8, 2024, surrounded by his loved ones.

Born on November 5, 1931, in Moline, Illinois, to Wilburt and Frances Cant, Bill was the eldest of three siblings. He grew up helping at his father's bar in town and excelling academically as Valedictorian of his class as well as earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Raised in a family deeply ingrained in community life, Bill learned important values early on. His athletic pursuits not only showcased his talent but also instilled in him a sense of discipline and determination that would serve him well throughout his life.

Bill's academic journey took him to St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, on a football scholarship, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Pre-Med in 1953. His contributions to the 1950 football team earned them induction into the St. Ambrose University Athletic Hall of Fame. Following his passion for medicine, Bill obtained his M.D. degree from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine in Chicago in 1957. His medical career began with an internship at San Diego County General Hospital and served as a Captain in the United States Air Force. His academic achievements reflected his commitment to learning and excellence as well as his service in the Air Force further shaped his character, instilling a sense of duty and responsibility that carried over into his medical career.

After completing his residency in pediatrics at Milwaukee Children's Hospital, Bill entered private practice in Madison, Wisconsin. He later moved to Red Wing, Minnesota, where he practiced pediatrics until 1972. Bill then pursued a fellowship in anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic, becoming an assistant professor of anesthesiology in the Mayo Medical School in 1977. In 1977, Bill co-founded the first free-standing ambulatory surgery center in St. Paul. He served as a medical director and anesthesiologist at various surgery centers until his retirement in 1997. As a pediatrician and an anesthesiologist, Bill touched the lives of countless individuals and families. His dedication to his patients was unwavering, and his role as a mentor and teacher underscored his commitment to advancing the field of medicine.

Beyond his professional life, Bill and Barb shared 36 years of marriage, enjoying travel, boating, and relaxation at their cabin retreat. A devoted husband, father, grandpa, and uncle, Bill was also an avid fisherman, outdoorsman, and sports fan who enjoyed sharing his passions with others. His humor and quick wit brightened the lives of those around him, leaving an indelible mark on all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Bill loved all things ice cream, chocolate cake, gingersnap cookies, and especially his mom's cherry pie. In addition, Bill was a "techy" who wore his Apple watch to the end, and he kept his home high tech. No need for him to Google when asked a history or medical question, all came from the top of his head. Daily NY Times crossword puzzles rarely stumped him.

As Bill's journey on this earth came to a close, his legacy of kindness, dedication, faith, and love lives on in the hearts of those he touched, and his impact will be felt for generations to come.

Bill is survived by his wife, Barb; daughters Cynthia (Matt) Harmer, Laurie (John) Kuduk, Lisa (Tom) Albertin, and Elizabeth (Len) Harrill-Brisley; six grandchildren: Chuck, Rachel, Lia, Anne, Joe, and Isaac; three great-grandchildren; his sister, Cathleen and many other loved ones.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilburt and Frances Cant; and sister, Nancy Finkelstein.

A memorial service to honor his life, will be held at Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center, 4600 Greenhaven Dr., White Bear Lake on Thursday, May 30, 2024, with visitation at 10:00 am and the celebration program at 11:00 am. Lunch in the community hall will follow. A private interment will be held at The Fountain Columbaria Division of Roselawn Cemetery in Roseville, MN, at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders and Crescent Cove Respite and Hospice Home for Children, causes close to Bill's heart.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilbur Cant, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, May 30, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, May 30, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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