The doors will close quietly on a career that has spanned 42 years when physiotherapist Karl Sturtridge officially retires next week, with as little fuss as possible.
But those close to him believe there will be quite a fuss when the word gets out, because the straight-shooting, wisecracking expert in movement and function has worked patiently in partnership with many patients over the years who have come to rely on his care.
The University of Western Australia graduate first set up his practice on Old Great Northern Hwy in Midland in the 1970s and as his practice grew so did his interest in spines, which is an area he eventually specialised in.
Mr Sturtridge has seen many changes to the industry over the decades but one constant has been his care to families in the area, and he has treated generations with his well-honed skills, and his signature dry wit.
But it is now time to move onto a new chapter and on Monday Mr Sturtridge emailed a dry farewell to clients, advising them of his impending departure.
“Thank you all for your support – I may even miss some of you.”
What Mr Sturtridge won’t miss however is setting off from home at 4.20am for a 5am start and his retirement plans include a sleep in and some recreational shooting with friends on a farm.
“I love the bush the further out in the bush I get the happier I am.”
The Glen Forrest resident will also indulge his love of cooking with Barbara, who he has happily been with for the past 35 years.
Sitting firmly on top of his retirement list are plans to do nothing much for the first three months.
But decades of his work and story will be included in a collection of oral histories, currently being compiled by a City of Swan librarian who is keen to document stories that form part of the fabric of Midland’s rich history.
Mr Sturtridge will officially shut up shop at noon on Friday, July 22 – and there is no doubt he will be sorely missed.