Debbie Baylin describes her late husband, Dr. Steve Baylin, as a big kid. Smiling fondly, she joked he was, “essentially Peter Pan, the kid who never grew up.” He was very playful, earnest, and kind to everyone he met. Kids loved and flocked to him because he treated them with reverence, respect and compassion. He had an insatiable desire for love, earning it back in spades through the kindness and love he gave out. He is a man remembered for his smile, his big blue eyes, and his love for life.

Dr. Steve Baylin

Dr. Baylin grew up in Montreal. He completed his undergraduate degree at Concordia University, working summers as a waiter at the Banff Springs Hotel. After completing his General Dentistry degree at McGill University, he went on to specialize, earning his Pedodontics and Master’s in Science at Boston University.

Nearing graduation, he met his future wife Debbie. In 1978 they moved to Calgary, Alberta, where Steve worked as a pediatric dentist, eventually opening his own practice. He was among the first dentists to be invited on staff at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Dr. Baylin served as a board member and editor of the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry‘s national newsletter and was a guest lecturer in pediatric dentistry for the Dental Assisting Program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). He was a lifetime member of Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity, and was the pediatric dental representative on the Canadian Downs Syndrome Society Professional Resource Council

Children loved Dr. Baylin and he had a way of helping all ages conquer their fear of dentists. Throughout his 30-year Dentistry career, he impacted everyone who came through his practice. He continued treating many adults who started with him as children. 

In 1983, Dr. Baylin and Debbie welcomed a daughter, Melissa Rose. As a family, they became an inseparable, fearless threesome. Like all children who met Dr. Baylin, his daughter adored him and was his biggest fan. 

Dr. Baylin – Beyond Dentistry

Growing up, Dr. Baylin enjoyed many sports. He gravitated towards the camaraderie of sport, and the ability to connect over shared passions. He was a superb skier and ran a ski school in Montreal for many years, coaching kids. As one of the original members of Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club, he pursued his love for golf and became the course’s first official photographer.  While he may not have ever made the circuit, he certainly mastered the social aspect of the game, enjoying the camaraderie at dinner as much as the game. His annual ski, golf and cycling trips with his buddies were the year’s highlights. 

Another aspect of Dr. Baylin’s life that brought him immense joy was his love of photography. While working summers in Banff, he fell in love with the Rocky Mountains. Always a keen eye behind a lens, retiring in Canmore gave him an opportunity to pursue his passion for photography in a beautiful place he had always loved. As a professional, Dr. Baylin’s life was very detailed and precise. He had to be empathetic to what his patients needed and be exact in administering the treatment they needed. Through his photography, Dr. Baylin could freely express his creative side. He had an uncanny talent for capturing beauty. Whether photographing the Kananaskis Golf Course or the wildlife he saw while hiking, it truly brought him joy.

His photos have been featured in numerous publications, including the Journal of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Dentistry and showcased in dental offices and golf courses throughout Alberta.

A photo of Castle Mountain taken by Steve Baylin

The Steve Baylin Legacy Fund

Dr. Steve Baylin died on January 7, 2021, following a two-year struggle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. At the end of his life, Dr. Baylin was recieved tender and compassionate care in a guest room at the Chinook Hospice, where several of his own photographs were hanging.

On a single day’s notice, over 600 people attended his online celebration of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Baylin impacted people through every aspect of his life; dentistry, sports, photography, and community. As all struggled to comprehend the loss, a long-time friend and mentee, Dr. Brad Krusky, established a legacy fund in Dr. Baylin’s honour.

The Steve Baylin Legacy Fund is a tribute to the passions Dr. Baylin had throughout his life; children, sports, photography, and nature. Through the legacy fund, aspiring photography students receive scholarships at the Alberta University of the Arts. Nature Labs, A program in BC received funding for high school students to experience outdoor biodiversity learning through videography and digital imagery.

Steve’s Legacy and the ripple effect – the 4 T’s in action

Philanthropy is more than donating money, or Treasures. It is also about leveraging the other assets you bring to the table – Time, Talent and Ties. Dr. Baylin’s legacy shows that by bringing forward non-cash assets in abundance, the financial rewards will follow. His fund, while started by Dr. Brad Krusky, is maintained by Steve’s friends, family, patients and communities that knew him. 

The 4 T’s are built on a fifth T, which is, intangible at best. When it is there, we all know it is present – Trust. Dr. Baylin’s empathy towards his young patients and their parents created trust well beyond the immediate needs of those who interacted with him. Trust is the foundation we leverage the other 4 T’s off of. When this is eroded, the value of the other assets declines. 

If we can learn one thing from Dr. Baylin’s life, it is that over time you build up a “bank account” of Trust. Upon one’s passing, this account’s dividends are immeasureable.

To contribute to the Steve Baylin Legacy Fund, click here.

To learn more about how Place2Give can help you set up a Give Fund, contact us today.