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In memoriam: April 2021

In memoriam: April 2021

Lois (Knights) Barker, BA/BPHE’61

Lois died Sept. 18 after a lifetime of community service and unrelenting advocacy for the underserved. Lois was a fierce, tenacious woman before it was cool. She was a natural athlete from childhood, excelling on the basketball court, in the pool, and even on the ski jump. As a young woman, she obtained her private pilot’s licence. As assistant director of water safety services for the Red Cross in Toronto, Lois noticed a failing in the national swimming badge system that resulted in children abandoning instruction. She redesigned the program, keeping kids in swim programs across the country, and thus saving countless lives. In 1980, Lois began her 23-year tenure as CEO of the Fort Erie YMCA. Once a small storefront organization, the Fort Erie YMCA became, under Lois’s ambitious vision and perseverance, a state-of-the-art facility complete with daycare centre, running track, and even a waterslide. The building owed its existence to the “Lois Factor,” her dedication to the community, and her ability to convince people to open their wallets and contribute. The Lois Factor, of course, extended to her home life, with husband Joseph Barker, Sc’60, and children Karen, Artsci’86, and Kim. She encouraged her daughters to try everything. She taught them that there were no limits on what they could achieve. She inspired them to make volunteering an essential part of their lives. As a mother, friend, and employer, Lois was as tough as she was giving. She often saw more potential in others than they saw in themselves and she never gave up on helping them achieve it. She changed the lives of many. She will be missed.

Robert Greggs, BA’55

Robert Greggs
Robert Greggs

Bob died at home on Dec. 3. He is mourned by his wife, Marilyn Hood, Arts’70, MEd’76; their combined family of children (including Darcie Greggs, Artsci’80, and Jonathon Greggs, Artsci’83) and grandchildren; and by Cooper the dog. Bob was predeceased in 1997 by his first wife, Robin (Howland), BA’54, and dogs Shandy, Georgie Girl, Tamworth, Candy, MacDuff, Tory, Casey, and Terra. Bob pursued knowledge all his life. He earned his BSc in geology from Queen’s, then advanced degrees from UBC, before returning to Queen’s as a professor of geological sciences. His expertise in sedimentary geology inspired many of his students as well as his own children (with both Darcie and Jonathon becoming geologists). Bob was known for his early work in the Canadian Rockies, on horseback no less, and for detailing the strata around southeastern Ontario. After leaving Queen’s, Bob moved west to work in the energy industry in Calgary until he retired.

Margaret Natalie Whyte (McGiffin) Heilig, BNSc’57 

Margaret Natalie Whyte Heilig
Margaret Natalie Whyte (McGiffin) Heilig

Margaret died Feb. 20, 2020, in Toronto, aged 85, with her four children by her side. She was predeceased by her husband, Bob Heilig, BASc’55, in 2017, and by her sister Mary in 2019. She is survived by children John, Katherine, Nancy, and Michael, her sister Kathleen Satchell, Arts’51, and extended family. Margaret and Bob met at Queen’s, where they made lifelong friendships. They were happily married for 58 years and their proudest accomplishments were raising their four children and spending time with their 10 grandchildren. Margaret went back to school while raising her children and completed a specialist degree in history from the University of Toronto. Her interest in history led her to work at the Toronto Mackenzie House, and her nursing education to work at The Gage as a health educator. Margaret spent many years as a Girl Guide leader in Henry Farms, cultivating young women to be independent and caring, and to love the outdoors. Her energy and optimism and love of adventure were what drew people to her. It was her caring and nurturing ways that kept them close. She is greatly missed.

J. Gilbert Hill, BASc’51 (Engineering Chemistry), MASc’62 (Biochemistry), PhD’63 (MD, McGill) 

Gilbert died Oct. 25, two days after celebrating Mole Day. While at Queen’s, Gilbert’s sister, Mary, set him up on a blind date with Ardeth Justus, Arts’52. They married in 1956. In 1965, Gilbert began his career as a clinical biochemist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He was a pioneer in laboratory automation and became biochemist-in-chief. He simultaneously rose through the academic ranks at the University of Toronto in what is now the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. He was recognized with a lifetime honorary membership in the Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists in 2011. Gilbert retired from SickKids in 1995 and took on a second career in medical informatics. Gilbert was an advocate for conservation and an enthusiastic naturalist. His kindness, sincerity, integrity, and calm presence made him an excellent teacher and mentor, and the best father that anyone could hope for. Gilbert was predeceased by his brother Donald, BASc’50. He is survived by his wife, Ardeth; his children Margaret, Janet, Artsci’90, PhD’95 (David Palmer, Artsci’89, PhD’95), and Andrew, Sc’91; his younger sister Mary Summerby, Meds’55; and many nieces and nephews.

Alexis Hyland, BASc’61

Al died peacefully on Oct. 22 in the presence of Joan, his wife and best friend. Al immigrated to Canada from Trinidad as a young man to pursue his studies as a chemical engineer at Queen’s. After graduation, he eventually made his way to Montreal and spent most of his working life at Seagram Distilleries, where he met Joan. Al and Joan enjoyed a loving and wonderful life together for 44 years, travelling on exotic adventures, playing golf and bridge, enjoying their garden and cherishing their time with close friends. Al’s intelligence, charm, diplomacy, gentle disposition, memorable belly laughs, and his insatiable appetite for vanilla ice cream will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. 

Wayne Hypponen, MBA’62

Wayne died Nov. 17 with Leena, his wife of 52 years, by his side, following a lengthy battle with Lewy body dementia. Wayne is also survived by his children, Taina Phelan, Artsci’93 (Douglas Phelan, Com’92), and Maria Hypponen, Artsci’95, MA’98, and five grandchildren. Wayne is also missed by extended family members and friends in Canada and Finland. Born and raised in Montreal, Wayne studied engineering at McGill before pursuing his MBA at Queen’s. Wayne was a true gentleman; he had a kind and gentle soul as well as an impish sense of humour. He loved animals and soaking up some Vitamin D at the cottage. He was extremely proud of his Finnish heritage.

Donald Keenleyside, BA’54, MD’56 

Donald Keenleyside
Donald Keenleyside

Donald died on Nov. 25 in Kingston. He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Linda; children Laura, David, Artsci’84, and Tim, Artsci’86; and extended family. Donald was predeceased by his first wife, Anna. Donald grew up in Kingston, attending Victoria Public School and KCVI (where he was head boy, 1947–1948) before studying at Queen’s. He was a caring doctor for generations of families. He had a longtime association with Hotel Dieu Hospital. His special projects through the years included property development of the Medical Arts Building and Ongwanada Hospital and serving as president of the Physicians’ Services Incorporated Foundation. He was awarded emeritus status by the Ontario College of Physicians. He had a most fulfilling life. His passions included baseball, hockey (he played for Queen’s as a student), golf, curling, and skiing.

William Kettle, MD’61

William Kettle
William Kettle

Bill died peacefully at home on July 31. After graduation from medical school and three years of family practice and pediatric residency, Bill began practice in Midland, Ont. He was truly an all-round practitioner; he performed minor surgical procedures and delivered hundreds of babies. He was a skilled clinician and educator dedicated to his patients and yet always remained humble. He was well-loved and active in the Georgian Bay community. Bill continued his love of hockey well into his 70s and developed his skills in sketching, woodworking, and model-boat building. Bill was devoted to his family: his wife, Hazel, five children, and 10 grandchildren.

John Robert MacKay, Com’70

John MacKay
John Robert MacKay

John died peacefully at home on Nov. 3, 2020, at the age of 72. John treasured his family and will be dearly missed by his wife, Shirley, KGH Nursing ’71, and his children Geoff, Steph, Artsci/PHE’04 (Kyle Bournes, Artsci’04), and Andrew, of whom who he was immensely proud. John was the adoring “Grumps” to his grandchildren Linden, Rowan, and Juniper and his granddogs. He was also close to his cousin Steve Knox, Com’74, and his family, as well as a large extended family. John grew up in Kingston and went on to spend most of his career in the federal government, occupying several roles, most significantly as a senior program officer and policy analyst, investigating unfair trade practices by foreign exporters to Canada. While Ottawa was home, John considered himself a K-Town boy at heart. He was an athlete and a passionate sports fan. He had a cherished circle of friends from his school days in Kingston, his time at Queen’s, and his career in the federal government. Many of these friends visited him right up until he died of advanced prostate cancer. John was a faithful attendee at his class reunions and even managed to make it, virtually, to his 50th reunion, which brought him immense joy.

Merylin Elizabeth, (Masters) McKinley, BA’56

Merylin died Nov. 20. She was preceded in death by her husband, A. Colin McKinley, MD’58, and is survived by 
sons Dougal and Robbie, and two grandchildren. Merylin taught school for several years before becoming a homemaker who excelled at instilling a love of reading in her children, creating magical Christmas memories, and demonstrating how to persevere through challenges. Painting was a lifelong passion she pursued through classes, exhibiting, and volunteering with art galleries. She also knitted and quilted, creating prized family heirlooms. Her grandkids were crazy about their “Nana,” who always had fun things to do, treats not seen at home, “Nana rules,” and help with special projects. Her nephews remembered her for being a warm, supportive aunt with a great sense of humour. Both Merylin and Colin spoke lovingly about their time at Queen’s and gave back to the school through the A. Colin and Merylin E. McKinley Bursary to support medical students. Send condolences

Gerald Irvine Mennie, BASc’53

Gerald Mennie
Gerald Irvine Mennie

Gerald died peacefully on April 14, 2020, in Toronto. Gerry is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 65 years, Ida; children Sharon and Bruce, Sc’86 (Anita); and grandson Bryce. Gerry had a long and fulfilling career as a civil engineer with Ontario Hydro. He was initially assigned to the expansion phase of the Sir Adam Beck hydroelectric power project in Niagara Falls, where much of his time was spent in underground civil construction as part of an undertaking by mining and civil infrastructure crews to construct a series of 50-foot-diameter tunnels. He was involved with numerous power-generating and transmission stations throughout the province, extending from the Winnipeg River in the northwest to the Abitibi River in the northeast and Lake Ontario to the south. Gerry’s happiest and most rewarding times were shared with family and friends. Gerry also valued his solitude and moments of quiet reflection, and is remembered for his congenial and thoughtful nature, wisdom, integrity, and consideration towards others. 

James Mucklow, BASc’85 (MESc, Western University)

James Mucklow
James Mucklow

Jim died Oct. 28 in Thunder Bay, surrounded by his family. Jim met the love of his life, Cindy Warwick, NSc’85, in first year at Queen’s, in residence at Jean Royce Hall. They married in Thunder Bay in 1985 shortly after graduation. Jim worked first in mineral exploration and then in consulting engineering, assessing and remediating contaminated sites and assessing groundwater resources. He also served as manager of environment and community affairs for Fortune Minerals for projects in northern British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. A significant portion of this work involved consultations with First Nations. Jim learned a lot from the people he met in the First Nations with whom he consulted. One of his proudest moments was when Miluulak, a Sim’oogit (house chief) of the Gitxsan Nation in northwestern B.C. honorarily adopted him into the house. Jim benefited from mentoring by many experienced professionals and, in turn, he mentored those who worked for and with him. Jim loved travelling and discovering new places and people. Jim was a member of the Rotary Club of Thunder Bay (Port Arthur) where he ran the youth exchange program for several years; his family hosted several youth exchange students from around the world. Jim is survived by Cindy, his loving and patient wife of 34 years; his two accomplished children, Gillian and Isaac; his mother, Ines; siblings Nancy, Artsci’86 (Shane Dunne), Peter, Sc’86 (Judy Morash, NSc’87) and Laura, Artsci’93 (Tony Calverley); and extended family. He was predeceased by his father, Dr. James Mucklow, in 2019. Jim is also survived by his surrogate children, the 10 exchange students that the family hosted and continue to keep in contact with. Jim had numerous close friends and their families that he also considered family. Jim led a good and principled life driven by strong morals and the drive to do the right thing.

Jon Mulville, BASc’91

Jon died Dec. 13, aged 52. Jon is survived by his mother, siblings, extended family, and many friends. He was predeceased by his father and his aunt Betty Mulville, BA’68. Jon graduated from Queen’s with a degree in mathematical and mechanical engineering; he was on the Dean’s List. In 1993, Jon left Ontario for B.C. to go skiing for a year. He fell in love with the mountains and decided to make B.C. his permanent home. He loved curling, mountain biking, golfing, skiing, and kayaking. He made a living as a carpenter, mostly in Whistler, and subsequently bought a home in Squamish. Jon excelled in every endeavour of his life but had to overcome several health issues, including a recent eight-week bout with COVID-19. Sadly, Jon struggled within himself and as he lived on his own terms, he also died on those terms. During the late evening of Dec. 13, Jon decided to take his own life, leaving his friends and family devastated. 

Chris Nova (Nowakowski), BCom’60 

Chris died peacefully at home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by family, friends, and dedicated caregivers after a spirited battle with Alzheimer’s. Chris began his life as he lived it … full speed. He spent the first four years of his life escaping Nazi-controlled Europe, eventually ending up in Ottawa. A natural athlete and bon vivant, he excelled in football, skiing, and boxing at Ashbury College. Chris later attended Queen’s, Carleton, and HEC Paris, where he continued his “extracurriculars” with passion. After 15 years at Wood Gundy in Toronto and London, Chris founded InterSec Research Corporation and never looked back. He took as much pride in the success of that venture as he did in the annual get-togethers of loyal employees decades after the firm was sold. Chris shaped the lives of many. Stories of his generosity, love, misdeeds, and escapades will be repeated for years to come.

Donald Frederick Page, BASc’51, (PhD, Imperial College, London)

Donald Frederick Page
Donald Frederick Page

Don died Nov. 20 at the age of 91. Don’s PhD research explored the general subject of instability in active circuits using the newly introduced transistor as a practical application. This groundbreaking work led to his writing a major chapter for the Handbook of Semiconductor Electronics. Don joined the design team for Canada’s first space satellite, Alouette 1, which proved to be the most complex and reliable satellite of its time. While managing an engineering research group at the Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment in the 1960s, Don was an adjunct lecturer at Carleton University, where he helped develop its graduate electrical engineering program. On his appointment in 1968 to lead a new Canadian radar research program, Don initiated the original Canadian engineering studies of synthetic aperture imaging radar. Funded by the Department of National Defence and partnering with the Department of Energy, Mines, and Resources and with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories, Don’s group produced a ground-based image processor for NASA’s Seasat satellite which, when it was launched in 1978, carried the first space-borne synthetic aperture imaging radar. This Canadian image processor provided such excellent earth and ocean images that the U.S. military immediately classified the Seasat project. This exclusion from Seasat led to Don’s group transferring its technology to Canadian industry partner MacDonald Detwiler Associates, which resulted in Canada’s successful program of satellite-borne imaging radar now known as Radarsat. 

Alan Patterson, BASc’60

Alan died peacefully on Nov. 3, aged 88. Predeceased by his wife, Betty Ann, in 2002, Alan is survived by daughters Lesley, Artsci’84 (Tom) and Janet (Derek); grandchildren David, Sc’12 (Katherine), Katherine (Dan), Michael, Charlotte, and Isabella; and two great-grandchildren. Alan’s career as a civil engineer took the family to Toronto, Sudbury, and Sarnia. Alan’s first major project was building the Don Valley Parkway and he retired as city engineer in Sarnia. Al enjoyed curling, skiing, Toastmasters, and became a tai chi instructor later in life. He was a supporter of community organizations and generously established a planned gift to benefit the Queen’s University General Endowment Fund.

Katharine “Katie” (Gundy) Stewart, BA’50

Katie died Dec. 3 in Quesnel, B.C., where she lived for the last few years to be near family. She was predeceased by her husband, John Stewart, daughter Christine Stewart, BA’73, and granddaughter Katharine Hay. She is survived by her daughters Meg Stewart and Jennifer Hay and grandson David Hay. Katie had many fond memories of her days at Queen’s with her friends, the “Happy 12.” Their friendships were forged when they resided in close quarters in the “Barracks,” and continued lifelong. Katie moved to Nelson, B.C., in 1974 where she lived for more than 40 years, enjoying time with friends and family, travels, mountains, music, weaving, Scottish country dancing, and many other pursuits.

Jonathan Henry Tondeur, BASc’72

Jonathan Henry Tondeur
Jonathan Henry Tondeur

Jonathan died Oct. 10. Jonathan is survived by his wife, Thelma; their children Lisa Elliott, Artsci/PHE’82, Ed’83, Jonathan, Cory, Michele, and Paul; and 10 grandchildren, including Sophie Heffernan, NSc’21. Jonathan came to Queen’s as a mature student. His classmates in civil engineering affectionally called him “Dad.” He worked for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communication until 1978, when he became County Engineer for Northumberland until his retirement in 1996.

Louise Whiten, BA’91

Louise died Dec. 3. She is survived by her husband, Ching Mac, Sc’93; sons Adam and Jake; siblings Paula, Beverley, NSc’91, Richard, and Gary; extended family; and many friends. Louise studied biology at Queen’s, where she met Ching, the love of her life. She made many lifelong friends at Queen’s, becoming a proud alumna. Louise went on to get her Master of Speech Pathology and pursue a rewarding career in this field. Lou loved to travel the world, drink wine and eat great food at the cottage, walk her dog endlessly and exercise regularly, but most importantly, she loved just spending time with her family. 

Philip “Bert” Wild, BASc’82

Philip died Sept. 21. “Mrs. Chartrand, Phil’s grade four teacher, had a good eye for the human condition. She wrote on Phil’s report cards as follows: First report: Philip does talk too much and enjoys distracting other people. Second report: Philip still talks too much. He enjoys having a good time. “We lost Phil on Sept. 21 very unexpectedly. It was, however, a miracle that he even survived graduation from Queen’s. Our mother had gathered the clan for the occasion from far and wide, including our aunt from England. We had stayed over at a hotel the night before the grand event. Morning of convocation, however, the only one missing was Phil.
He showed up only moments before we were to leave for the ceremony, more than a little hung over (gentlemen, you know who you are). We thought Mom was going to kill him then. Since Phil’s passing, we have learned of his escapades over the years with his Queen’s classmates, some of which he only narrowly survived. Apparently, we were lucky to have had him as long as we did. We will all miss him terribly. The coroner reported he had an enlarged heart, something that everyone who knew him can vouch for. We just didn’t think it would kill him. Phil – this is what happens when you leave your sisters in charge!” Submitted with love by Phil’s sisters, Cathy Wild, Artsci’79, and Susan Wild, Com’87.

David Emmons Torrance, PhD’87

David, age 69, passed away peacefully at home on Nov. 8, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. He earned his degrees from Washington and Lee University, Brown University, and his PhD from Queen’s. Kingston held a special place in his heart for this is where he learned to sail, started teaching history, and met and married his beloved Elizabeth. More than anything, teaching was his passion and he enjoyed his career in the history department of Mount Allison University. David will be profoundly missed by his mother; his wife, Elizabeth; his children, Beth, Margaret, Alice, and Charles; his brother, Jim Torrance (Cindy); and Jim’s children, Tina and Danny. He will also be lovingly remembered by his extended family, his nieces and nephews, his friends, his colleagues, and his students. 

graphic of cover of Queen's Alumni Review, issue 1, 2021