Jimmy Campbell, BSc’42, and Lorraine Campbell (née Thompson), BSc’42, MSc’44
The Faculty of Land and Food Systems focuses on the connections between agriculture and communities. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the lives of its graduates Jimmy and Lorraine Campbell. The Campbells graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture and farmed on Saturna Island for approximately 70 years prior to their recent deaths on November 29, 2015, (Jimmy) and February 16, 2016 (Lorraine). Jimmy’s agriculture career began with an undergraduate project to grow flax for fish net production, which he carried out on the farm of Lorraine’s father. Lorraine was one of few women undergraduates in the faculty, and even fewer women master’s students at the time she completed her MSc in plant nutrition and raspberry production. While Jimmy’s flax project failed, it initiated a lifelong devotion to agriculture and to Saturna Island, where they moved after Jimmy left the Canadian Navy following WWII. Here they raised cattle, chickens, lots of vegetables, and lambs, including those for the annual July 1st Saturna Island Lamb Barbeque that attracts more than 1,000 people annually. Over the years the Campbells hosted visiting students from UBC and around the world, and provided opportunities for them to learn about sustainable agriculture, rural communities and the marine environment. Jimmy and Lorraine were community leaders in the southern Gulf Islands. In 1993 Lorraine received a Canadian 125th Anniversary medal in recognition of her many volunteer activities, including 19 years on the board of the Lady Minto Gulf Islands Hospital and 13 years as a school trustee. Jimmy also served 12 years on the Gulf Island School Board, 10 years on the Capital Regional District Board (as chair for seven) and two years on the Islands Trust. The Campbells had four children, Jimmy (deceased), Tommy, Nan and Jacques (Jacqui). The Campbell farm continues as an important aspect of the Saturna Island community.
Lucy Berton Woodward, BA’43
Artist, writer, lively personality, dedicated gardener, handywoman, unparalleled baker of raspberry pie, loving mom and grandmother, Lucy died on December 9, 2015. She was born in Dawson City, where she and her brother Pierre had an idyllic childhood playing amid the ruins of the Gold Rush and drifting down the Yukon River in their parents’ little boat. Lucy wrote two children’s adventure books set in the Yukon, Johnny in the Klondike (1964), co-authored with her mother, Laura Beatrice Berton, and Kidnapped in the Yukon (1968). The Depression led the family to Victoria and then to Vancouver, where Lucy wrote for The Ubyssey while attending UBC. After stints at the Vancouver News-Herald, a dress designer’s studio, the Weather Office, the UBC President’s Office and an advertising agency, she met Geoffrey Woodward through the Players’ Club Alumni of UBC theatre group. They married in 1950. As she started a family – son Berton and daughter Paisley – Lucy continued to write. She also did publicity for arts organizations and, from 1968-70, wrote the Vancouver Sun’s “Here and There” social column. She was a loving mother, a skilled seamstress and someone able to fix almost anything. She held liberal, secular views and possessed a fierce sense of independence. After Geoff’s retirement from BC Hydro, the couple moved to White Rock in 1975. There they enjoyed their magnificent view, often taking in the sunset with drink in hand. They also travelled abroad. After Geoff died in 1998, Lucy continued to garden, paint prolifically, and study her family’s genealogy. She was blessed to live in her own home and have clarity of mind almost to the end. She died peacefully, of old age, at Peace Arch Hospice in White Rock, surrounded by loved ones.
Joyce Sihota, BA’46, BSW’47
Joyce slipped peacefully out of this life on February 18, 2017, in Nanaimo, BC, surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Peace River, Alberta, on October 16, 1925, and after obtaining both a BA and BSW from UBC, became the director of Camp Alexandra in Crescent Beach. She dedicated her life to supporting her husband and raising her family of seven children in South Surrey. When her husband retired in 1986, the couple moved to Abbotsford to start a blueberry farm, and for several years Joyce chaired the BC Blueberry Council. As a person she always considered others first, and as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was selflessly devoted to her family. She will be deeply missed. She leaves behind her husband of 68 years, Dedar, children Paul (Kensey), Jan, Kim (Kathryn), Darshan (Shalene), Karen, Don (Denis), Chris (Cal), 15 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, her sister Dorothy, sister-in-law Dial, and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial donation in Joyce’s name be made to the Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Centre (www.vepc.bc.ca).
Gordon Webster, BSc’49, MSc’51
Dr. Gordon Webster, BSc’49, MSc’51, passed away in November 2016. He taught soil chemistry at the University of Alberta from 1960 to 1987.
Pete Steele, BSc’50
Peter was born on January 11, 1926, near Vermillion, AB. Peter served in the RCAF, including a brief stint in England at the end of WWII. He was in England on VE Day and in Vancouver on VJ Day. After graduating from UBC, he went on to earn a master’s in agriculture at Washington State College (now Washington State University), eventually moving to Seattle and becoming a US citizen. He worked for 34 years at Carnation Fresh Milk and Ice Cream Company, holding positions such as quality control director and milk plant superintendent. Peter met his sweetheart, Mary Jane Ferguson, at a Skandia folk dance and they married on July 9, 1960. An avid mountain climber with the Washington Alpine Club and Mountaineers, Peter
summited every major peak in Washington and Oregon. After taking the Mountaineer climbing course, Peter and some friends started the Washington Alpine Course, which still exists today. He was a dedicated skier and instructor for years before serving 15 years on the volunteer ski patrol at Ski Acres and achieving National status. At the age of 86, he hosted his extended family at Sun Peaks Resort in BC and skied five days in a row. He thoroughly enjoyed folk, round, and square dancing. He and MJ camped first with a tarp, then a tent, a 19 ft. tent trailer for 17 years, and then a 29 ft. fifth wheel trailer for 23 years. He always had projects in his shop, tinkering with mechanical/ electrical inventions. After living a fulfilling life, Peter passed away June 29, 2015, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by Mary Jane; his sister, Barbara McGillvray; daughters Dana (Michael) Korch and Diane (Dick) Sine; son David (Danielle); and his adoring grandchildren Benjamin, Elena, and Annalise Korch, Tara and Emmett Steele, Kim McKeown, and Michael and Stephen Sine.
Raymond Ernest Counsell, BSc’53
Raymond E. Counsell, PhD, passed away peacefully on March 21, 2016, in Bonita Springs, FL, with his wife Liz by his side. Ray was born in Vancouver in 1930. At the age of 10, he was hired as a delivery boy for a local pharmacy. Upon graduation from high school, the minister of his church recommended that he attend university.
Ray enrolled at UBC and, in 1953, received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, along with the Horner Gold Medal as the top student in his class. He subsequently attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and graduated with his PhD in medicinal chemistry and organic chemistry. In 1957, he married Elizabeth Short and the couple moved to Evanston, IL, where Ray became a senior research chemist at pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle.
In 1963 Ray was recruited to the University of Michigan to establish a new program in radiopharmaceuticals for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Over the course of the next 40 years, Professor Counsell was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and oversaw the training of many doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. Moreover, his laboratory gave rise to numerous agents subsequently used for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Among his numerous awards, Dr. Counsell received a Fogarty Fellowship, the Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and the Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award of the University of Minnesota.
Ray was a wonderful role model, had a great sense of humor, and loved his family dearly. In addition to his wife of 58 years, he is survived by three children: Steve Counsell (Carol), Ron Counsell (Shelly), and Cathy Martin (Mike); six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; nephew David Counsell (Wendy) and Liz’s niece Stephanie Allin (Maurice).
John (Jack) Cooke, BA’54
Jack passed away peacefully in his sleep at Vancouver General Hospital at the age of 85 on November 1, 2016. Born in Vernon, BC, Jack was the second of three children born to Edward and Irene Cooke. After being raised in Vernon Jack went on to complete an undergraduate degree in sciences at UBC, an MBA at the University of Western Ontario, and a teaching certificate at UBC. Jack became a teacher and, while teaching in Salmon Arm, he met Brenda, whom he married in 1966. Jack and Brenda moved to Courtenay and then Victoria. In Victoria, Jack taught for several years at Mount View. He then turned to a career in real estate and then accounting/tax preparation. Jack’s two keen hobbies were fishing and farming. He often spoke fondly of fishing with his father in the Okanagan and guiding for several years out of Campbell River. In Victoria, Jack took on a keen interest in fruit and vegetable farming and revitalizing a heritage orchard in Shirley. The family enjoyed many weekends and holidays at the farm and shore excursions. With son John, several visits were made to Brenda’s family in the UK and other European destinations. Subsequently, Jack and Brenda travelled further afield along the Pacific Rim. The final exploration – a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest – was his final voyage, much enjoyed. Jack leaves with fond memories his wife of over 50 years, Brenda, his son John, daughter-in-law Louise, grandson Daniel and granddaughter Natalie. The family express their deepest gratitude to the medical and health aid staff at Victoria General Hospital, of note the ICU. If desired, donations may be made in his memory to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. To offer a condolence please visit www.earthsoption.com
Alan Clifford Casselman, BA’56, BSW’65 1932-2016
Alan Casselman passed peacefully at the age of 84, after a brief battle with dementia. He was a kind man with a laid-back demeanour and a twinkle in his eye. In his day, he enjoyed fishing, travel, his hobby farm and a good coffee. Predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Silvia Casselman, Alan is survived by his sons, Joel and Ian Casselman, daughter-in-law Kim Casselman and granddaughter Ella. In lieu of flowers, a kind donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada or the Alzheimer Society of Canada is greatly appreciated.
Bernard Anthony Heskin, BASc’58, PEng, FEC August 20, 1934 – December 17, 2016
With great sadness, we wish to announce the passing of Bernie on December 17 at the age of 82. He was the only child of John (Jack) and Elizabeth (Cissie) Heskin. He will be dearly missed by Marie, BSN’58, his wife of 55 years; sons John, BCom’86 (Ana Maria), Michael, BCom’87, David, BA’91, BEd, MSpED’12 (Karen) and daughter Mary Anne, BCom’94 (Brad); and his beloved grandchildren Hannah, Matthew and Trevor Pruner.
Born in Vancouver, he grew up in Dunbar and later Selma Park (Sechelt). He was a member of the first graduating class of Elphinstone High School, from where he entered UBC and graduated in 1958 as a Civil Engineer.
His professional career was spent with the federal government, first with the Department of Fisheries. Later he joined the newly formed Department of the Environment, serving for many years as the regional director of EPS for BC & the Yukon. In 2009, he was awarded the designation Fellow of Engineers Canada (FEC) for contributions to his profession.
Neil William Macdonald, BA’58, MA’60, MPE’91
The first in his family to go to university, Neil earned three degrees from UBC: a bachelor’s and a master’s in psychology and another master’s in physical education. He also had a master’s in journalism (’67) from the University of Oregon and a PhD in mass communications (’66) from the University of
Minnesota. Neil was a Renaissance man. He was invited to a Pittsburgh Pirates training camp only to have his pro baseball dreams cut short by rheumatic fever. He became a sports reporter for The Province and the Eugene Register-Guard, which were the happiest days of his life. He won a national award for an article in
Old Oregon, wrote book reviews for the Vancouver Sun, and late in life was a sports reporter for The Northern
Light in Blaine, WA. He became a psychology professor and taught at several universities before teaching for 30 years at Vancouver City College, repeatedly earning the highest possible student reviews. He wrote, produced and hosted a cable television show on psychology that won a Canadian national cable award, published The League that Lasted, and wrote a book on Jack the Ripper. He was also a background actor, painter and cartoonist. Although he said he never wanted children, he was a devoted and loving father. He spent thousands of hours coaching his children at sports, always supported them in their dreams, and passed on his love of everything from psychology and astronomy to medicine and movies, animals and sports to art and literature. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lea Macdonald, three children and six grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, please donate to any medical research organization.
Denis F. R. Gilson, MSc’59, PhD’62
Born in London, UK, on November 18, 1934, Denis died on January 22, 2016. He obtained, in 1957, a BSc from University College, London, and did his MSc and PhD degrees at UBC. He held a post-graduate fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1962-64. After teaching at UBC he joined the faculty of McGill University in 1965, serving as associate dean of Graduate Studies from 1971-75 and becoming emeritus professor of chemistry. He is survived by his wife, Patricia Goodwin, BA’57, sons Michael Goodwin Gilson (Christine Lanthier) and Stephen Thomas Gilson (Karen Laduke), granddaughters Clara Lanthier-Gilson and Kathryn Meagan Gilson, and brothers Ian Trevor, Noel John and their families.
Barbara Howard, BEd’59 1921 – 2017
Athlete, educator and community leader, Barbara Howard was the first black female athlete to represent Canada in international competition. In 1948, when most ethnic minorities were barred from teaching, Barbara became the first person of colour to be hired as an educator by the Vancouver School Board, teaching physical education at Lord Strathcona Elementary School.
In 1938, in grade 11, Barbara ran a 100-yard sprint in 11.2 seconds to qualify for the British Empire Games, a time that beat the games’ record by a tenth of a second. But despite winning silver and bronze medals in relays at the games, she came sixth in the 100-yard dash. Her next chance would have been the 1940 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but the Second World War derailed the Olympics for the next decade and ended Barbara’s running career.
Barbara earned a Bachelor of Education at UBC in 1959 and started a new path. Barbara taught at Hastings, Henry Hudson, Lord Strathcona and Trafalgar elementary schools in a career spanning more than 40 years. At Trafalgar, Barbara worked with brilliant, but underperforming kids. In a 2010 Burnaby Now interview, she recalls being told to do “anything” to keep the children stimulated. She had them plan day-trips, sent them to work with their fathers, and had them film movies. Her strategy seems to have worked; like Dr. Patricia Hoy of the UBC School of Music, many were later successful, earning advanced degrees. “The child,” Barbara argued, “is more important than the curriculum.”
In 2010, Barbara was recognized by the Vancouver Park Board with a Remarkable Women Award for “her passionate dedication to inspire others to make a positive difference in their community.” She was inducted into both the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame and the BC Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2013, received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2015, she was welcomed as one of “The Legends” in the Canada Sports Hall of Fame. Barbara Howard passed away on January 26, 2017 at the age of 96.
Pullikattil Chacko Simon, MSc’60 March 1, 1913 – March 8, 2017
Pullikattil Chacko Simon was born on a small farm in Kerala, India. After graduating from Madras Veterinary College, he filled many government posts. Later, he moved to Sri Lanka where, as district veterinarian, he established several government veterinary hospitals and contributed greatly to livestock improvement. Because of these contributions, he was awarded special Ceylon Citizenship by the Prime Minister.
In 1957, he emigrated to Canada, where he was recruited by the Canada Department of Agriculture as a meat inspector. After completing a master’s degree in microbiology from UBC, he transferred to the Federal Department of Agriculture Animal Pathology Laboratory as a pathologist and research scientist. He published many scientific papers and contributed to a textbook on infectious diseases of animals.
After retiring from Canada Agriculture, he taught a course in animal pathology for the Department of Animal Science at UBC.
He served as treasurer on the board of Unity Church and was one of their most popular speakers. He was co-founder and president of the Hatfield Society, an organization which housed parolees and helped reintegrate them into the community. He founded and funded the Chacko and Lize Simon Trust for Sacred Heart Hospital School of Nursing in Kerala and the Chacko and Lize Simon Scholarship, which has provided nearly 4,000 scholarships to children of the very poor in his native Kerala.
In 1996, the Hatfield Society changed its mandate and established the Hatfield Society Scholarship Fund for students from low-income families in the Greater Vancouver Area. Eighty students have benefited.
In his eighties and nineties, he published 42 magazine articles and two books: The Missing Piece to Paradise and The Philosopher’s Notebook.
In 2012, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to society.
Helen Kathleen Gray, BLSc’62 August 4, 1920 – June 13, 2016
After a long and full life, Helen Gray (née Rodd) died in her sleep at home as she’d hoped. Helen was dynamic, curious and kind, and fully committed to life and all it offered. A graduate of the University of Toronto and later Tufts University (international law), she chose to marry the love of her life Ian and postpone a career. Once her three boys were in school she went back to school herself, getting a degree in
library science at UBC. She was among the first librarians at SFU and spent 20 happy years there. She and Ian travelled the world, and enjoyed many friends and evenings at the theatre and symphony. She loved learning and reading, and in retirement was an active participant in Elder College. Helen leaves behind her three sons David (Claudia), Cameron (Peg) and Michael (Sue), along with eight grandchildren (Max, Emma, Andrew, Paula, Sara, Lisa, Christina and Leslie) and nine great-grandchildren (Jarod, Jacob, Emma, Jasper, Simon, Isaac, Callum, Emily and Isla). We thank Living Well and their caregivers for their wonderful support. We will miss Helen but will never forget her.
Michael Deland, BSc’63, MSc’65
Michael passed away April 22, 2016, in Melbourne. From Vancouver, Michael moved to the University of Connecticut for a PhD in genetics, after which he spent three years at Purdue University in the Department of Neurophysiology. In 1974 the family returned to Melbourne, where he worked in the Genetics Department of Monash University for three years. Teaching was his major interest, so until retirement he taught senior biology at the secondary school level. He is survived by his wife, Lynlee, and their three children.
Sharon Roscoe, BSc’63
Sharon Grace Roscoe (née Furnival) passed away on December 9, 2015. Born in Ottawa, the daughter of Dr. George M. Furnival and Marion (née Fraser) Furnival, she graduated with a BSc from UBC, with honours in chemistry and a major in mathematics. She graduated with a PhD in physical chemistry from McGill University. Sharon taught virtually every chemistry course at Acadia University, from biochemistry to theoretical chemistry, rising rapidly to the rank of professor, and was head of the Chemistry Department. She was an adjunct professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Guelph. On her retirement, Acadia appointed her emeritus professor. Sharon’s research was continuously funded by The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council of Canada (NSERC) and by contracts with the Dairy Farmers of Canada, the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, SOHIO (Standard Oil of Ohio) and BP America. She was a co-chair of the NSERC Biosciences B Strategic Grants Committee and a member of the NSERC Discovery Grants Committee 26. She was a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and received the Clara Benson Award of the Canadian Society for Chemistry. She served as a member and chair of the executive of the Canadian Section of the Electrochemical Society, receiving its R.C. Jacobsen Award. She served the International Society of Electrochemistry in many roles, including nine years as secretary general, and was appointed an honorary member of the society. Sharon served her community as a figure skating and riding instructor and a Beaver leader. She enjoyed camping, canoeing and skiing with her family and in retirement was an avid golfer. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, John, two sons, James and Thomas, two grandchildren, Coll and Ailsa, a sister, Patricia, and two brothers, William and Bruce. A memorial service was held in the Manning Memorial Chapel, Acadia University.
Brian Van Snellenberg, BASc’64
Brian grew up in Vancouver, graduating from Magee High School before enrolling in mechanical engineering at UBC. Following graduation in 1964, he worked for a brief time in England before returning to Alcan in Kitimat, a company where he would work for the next 27 years. In 1967 he moved to attend the University of Western Ontario to get his MBA. He moved several times with Alcan – to Winnipeg, Kingston and Toronto – before moving to Hong Kong in 1986, where he worked in an Alcan joint venture with China for the next two-and-a-half years. Returning to Canada, Brian worked for Alcan for several years in Montreal before taking a job with PowerTech Labs in Vancouver. In 1996 Brian took a job with WorkSafe BC as executive director of Finance, retiring in 2009. During retirement, he and Maria enjoyed travelling in their trailer and Brian continued his interest in photography. Brian passed away October 1, 2016, following a two year battle with lung cancer. He is survived by his wife, three children, their spouses, and six grandchildren.
James Paterson Taylor, QC, LLB’68 December 5, 1943 – October 16, 2016
Jim Taylor, loving husband and father, brilliant scholar, distinguished lawyer, and beloved member of the community, passed peacefully on a Sunday afternoon, surrounded by his family. The BC flag at UBC was lowered in his honour. He is survived by his wife, Judy, daughters Jennifer and Carolyn, their husbands, Sidi and Krish, and his grandchildren, Savannah, Quincy, and Sophia.
Jim studied history and law at UBC and returned as a faculty member in 1974. He enjoyed a meteoric career, gaining tenure in only his third year and becoming a full professor two years later. A leading lawyer, Jim co-authored
British Columbia Practice – a text that was the constant companion of all BC litigators – with now-Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. He served as the deputy attorney general and deputy minister of justice for the Province of Saskatchewan, as a partner and the head of litigation for national law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon, and as a co-founding partner of litigation boutique Taylor, Jordan, Chafetz LLP.
Jim was also an extraordinary UBC alumnus, who led friend-raising and fundraising efforts and generously contributed his own time and money to an enormous range of UBC initiatives. His remarkable commitment leaves a lasting legacy, and yet he was a modest man whose often substantial gifts were usually made anonymously, or in honour of others.
Jim helped UBC establish the University Neighbourhoods Association, an innovative model for providing municipal-like services to the burgeoning University Town residential community. As its first chair, Jim worked unflaggingly to establish a strong foundation for a community that now numbers over 11,000, and in many ways was the unofficial “mayor” of University Town. He organized a multicultural program, set up initiatives to welcome and integrate new residents, and even read books to children at the community centre. Jim’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of countless people, and he was loved in return. In 2009, UBC dedicated a park to him in the Hawthorn Place neighbourhood.
His achievements were recognized with many other awards and accolades, including his appointment as Queen’s Counsel in 1989 and a Diamond Jubilee commemorative medal in 2012. Jim was a larger-than-life figure and set an inspiring example. He is sorely missed by fellow faculty members, former students, colleagues in the legal profession and, most of all, by his family and friends.
Henry Graham Armstrong (Harry), EdD’72
Born June 9, 1930, Harry died in White Rock on February 10, 2016. He started his journey to a UBC doctorate degree in 1966 at the age of 36 with his wife, May, and his four children: Garth (deceased 1988); Kevin, BEd’83; Kerry, BPE’82, MALT’05 (Royal Roads); and Patrick. He received his first two degrees at the University of Alberta. We were all inspired by his studies (BCom and MEd) and his career as executive director of the BC School Trustees from 1973-1989. Most of all, his partnership in marriage with Mary Telford (May) for over 64 years showed us that love can propel changes in life that go from air raids and surviving a direct hit in Belfast, to a nine-month separation as they immigrated to Canada, and even through an educational journey that changed the lives of educators and children in BC and beyond. Learning in our family continues with his six grandchildren: Jamie Armstrong (BA and MA), Kyle Armstrong (BA), Brennan Hall (BA), Sarah Hall, Maegen Armstrong and Brittany Armstrong (all three girls continuing in post-secondary education). Harry, a great teacher, taught us about faith, hope and love. With the gift of love, even if we are not together physically, we are together, which gives us the hope we need to carry forth not for ourselves alone – to love, to transform ourselves and others.
Francis Edward Schwab, BSc’74, MSc’79, Phd’86
Francis passed away at the age of 63 on March 6, 2016, with family at his side, following a long struggle with brain cancer. He was born on November 20, 1952, in Summerland, BC, and graduated from Nechako Valley Secondary in Vanderhoof in 1970. He went on to earn a PhD from UBC in 1986, and was the biology instructor at the Labrador College/College of the North Atlantic in Labrador City, NL, for more than 20 years. While living in Labrador, he published 14 papers on the interactions between local birds, small mammals, and their habitats.
Francis Joseph Furtado, BA’86, MA’88
It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Francis Furtado in Ottawa on January 3, 2017. Francis was born on April 2, 1966, in Cardston, Alberta, and grew up in Southern Alberta before making Ottawa his home.
In 1986, Francis obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in political science and international relations from UBC, where he also completed a master’s in 1988.
Following graduation, Francis began his employment in the federal public service, where he held several positions through his career of almost 23 years. Francis’ professional life was filled with accolades, including two Deputy Ministers’ Commendations and the Exceptional Achievement Award at the Privy Council Office. He was appreciated for his intellectual curiosity, strategic thinking, and fine pen; he was also a kind and supportive mentor.
Francis was happiest when surrounded by friends and family, engaged in thoughtful and spirited political debate. He was open to all views – even if he disagreed – if they were backed by evidence, conviction, and passion. Francis also enjoyed cooking and food. Discussions held over dinner or in the kitchen made fond memories, particularly if his guests managed to make him laugh hard enough to cry!
Francis was an avid reader, loved music and enjoyed most televised sports and, in particular, sports commentary – his favourites being football, tennis, basketball, hockey and Formula 1 motorsport.
Francis is predeceased by his father Menino. He is survived by his mother Amalia; his sister Sarah, brother-in-law Christopher, and niece Naomi; as well as his brother Xavier, and sister-in-law Carrie Lee.
The family is grateful to Benoit Bazinet, Isabelle Gallen and staff at the Beechwood Funeral Home in Ottawa.