Dr. Walter Edward Lake was born on the 29th of September, 1882 in Ridgetown. He was the youngest of 4 sons born to Dr. Charles Bailey Lake and the former Sarah Louisa Dodge. His father was a dedicated medical physician in Ridgetown and his siblings were; Harry William Lake born in 1871, Charles Buckley Lake born in 1872 (and died of pneumonia at the age of 3 months ) and Charles Ross Lake born in 1876.
Dr. Walter Lake was educated in Ridgetown, graduating from Ridgetown High School before attending McGill University in Montreal. In 1907, he graduated M.D.,C.M. and interned at Harper Hospital in Detroit. Dr. Lake returned to Ridgetown in 1908 to practice medicine. According to the 1928 Ontario Medical Registry, Dr. Lake joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 30th of September, 1910.
Dr. Lake appears in the 1913 Bell Telephone Directory. His telephone number was 61.
Dr. Lake married Alice McVean in Dresden on June 11th, 1914. Mrs. Lake was born in Dresden on the 1st of November, 1888. She was the 3rd of 10 children born to Osgoode Howard McVean and the former Catherine Lavina Philpott. Her grandfather Alexander McVean owned a wood working factory in Dresden, that produced wagon wheels. When Alexander McVean retired in 1890, Osgoode McVean and his brother William took over the ownership of the factory. Mrs. Lake was raised in a grand home located at 379 Hughes Street in Dresden. This home has been included on the Chatham-Kent Municipal Heritage Register. Mrs. Lake was the 3rd of 10 children. Her siblings were; John Alexander McVean, Sarah Georgianna McVean, Kathleen Philpott McVean, Alexander McVean, Mary Osgoode McVean, James William McVean, Osgoode Howard McVean, Donald “Patrick” McVean and Hetty “Esther” McVean.
Dr. Walter E. Lake and his wife resided in the home, that his father built in 1870, located at 51 Main Street East, in Ridgetown. Dr. and Mrs. Lake had two sons. Charles Osgood Lake was born in May of 1915 and James “Douglas” Lake was born in 1921. Both of their son’s were born in Ridgetown.
Dr. Lake was a member of the Ridgetown Library Board and the Ridgetown High School Board, serving as Chairman at times. Dr. Lake enjoyed playing golf and he was a founding member of the Ridgetown Golf Club. He served as President of the Ridgetown Golf Club in 1923, 1924, 1945-1946 and in 1947. He belonged to the Howard Lodge A.F. & A.M. #391.
Dr. Lake died at Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan on the 5th of September, 1947. Mrs Lake died at the Public General Hospital in Chatham on the 7th of January, 1967. Dr. and Mrs. McVean are buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Ridgetown.
Dr. Lake’s son, Sub-Lieutenant Charles Osgoode Lake died in 1997 and he was buried at Ridgetown. His son, Dr. James Douglas Lake graduated M.D. from the University of Western Ontario in July of 1943. He practiced medicine in Ridgetown from 1947 to 1948 before moving to the United States. He died in Atlanta, Georgia on the 20th of February, 1989. Mrs. Alice Lake’s sister Dr. Sarah McVean became a physician in 1908 and she practiced medicine in Dresden. Dr. Lake’s brother Dr. Charles Ross Lake was a dentist in Detroit and he served with the United States Armed Services during WWI.
*Dr. Lake’s father Dr. Charles Bailey Lake, his son Dr. James Douglas Lake and his sister-in-law Dr. Sarah Georgiana McVean are also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.
**Dr. Lake’s son Charles Osgood Lake served with the R.C.N.V.R. during WWII and he is featured on the Gathering Our Heroes website.
***Mrs. Lake’s brother Lieutenant James William McVean served during WWI. He was seriously injured in a plane crash on the 1st of March, 1918. He died in Toronto on the 10th of December, 1920 of complications from his injuries. He was buried at the Christ Church Anglican Cemetery in Kingston. Mrs. Lake’s brother Private Donald Patrick McVean served with the 24th Kent Regiment during WWII. Both of Mrs. Lake’s brother’s are featured on the Gathering Our Heroes website.