Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

The Magazine Of Queen's University

2019 Issue 3

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In memoriam: May 2019

In memoriam: May 2019

[photo of stained-glass windows in Grant Hall]

[photo of Professor Harry Jelinck]Peter Harry Jellinck, Professor Emeritus (Biochemistry),died Feb. 20 in Kingston on his 90th birthday.He is survived by his wife of 64 years (Patience) Mary Jellinck, brother Tommy Jellinek (Doreen), Fredericton, N.B., daughters Susan Jellinck (Campbell Thomson), Caroline Jellinck (Gordon Exel) and Rosemary Jellinck (John Nazar), grandchildren Hilary Morey (Daniel), Sarah Thomson (Nicholas Le Bar), Stephen Exel, David Exel, step-grandchildren Sarah Nazar (Julien Lord), Bradley Nazar (Courtney Paxton) and by great-granddaughter Aayla Le Bar and step great-grandson Aleksander Nazar.

Harry was born in Paris, France of Hungarian émigré parents, Ladislas David and Eva Jellinek (nee Novak).The family left France for England in 1936, where they lived in London, but were evacuated during the war to the Lake District. His high school years were spent at St. Bees Public School in Cumbria. In 1945 he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, at 17 the youngest pupil recorded to date. (He recently reminisced that this was due to his prowess on the rugby pitch rather than outstanding grades.) After a BSc at Cambridge, he moved to the University of London for his MSc and PhD. He met Mary Topham while working at the Middlesex Hospital in London and they were married in 1954.Two years of post-doctoral studies at McGill University were followed by work as a lecturer at St. Bartholomew’s and the Middlesex Hospitals in London. In 1960, he, Mary and Susan moved to Vancouver where he took a position in the newly created Cancer Research Centre at UBC. Rugby was still a part of his life and he played for the Meraloma Rugby Club, where his grandson Stephen is now a member. 

In 1967, the family, now including Caroline and Rosemary, moved to Kingston where he was head of the Department of Biochemistry from 1967 to 1978. He also became an adjunct professor at the Rockefeller University in New York City and spent many happy days doing research, playing squash and enjoying life in the Big Apple, including inline skating in Central Park.

On becoming Professor Emeritus in 1993, Harry continued research at Queen’s and at the Rockefeller for many years. In 2011 Dr. Richard Lyttle, a former student, established the Jellinck-Lyttle Graduate Fellowship in Biochemistry to honour Harry’s mentorship.

In retirement, Harry continued to work and publish. He joked that he wanted the words “I died funded” on his tombstone.Sadly, Alzheimer’s disease crept into his life in his mid-80s, robbing him of that goal. He spent his final year at Fairmount Home, north of Kingston, and the family are very grateful for the caring and respectful environment of 1 North.

If you would like to share condolences or your memories of Harry with his family, please send an email to rememberingphj@gmail.com.


Erwin Buncel, Professor Emeritus (Chemistry),died Dec. 19.

For more than 50 years, Erwin was one of the pillars of the Department of Chemistry at Queen’s. He joined the department in 1962 and was research-active well beyond his retirement in 1997. He co-supervised students as recently as 2015. Erwin also published more than 400 papers, more than 20 book chapters and review articles, three books and more than a dozen edited monographs. He was an acknowledged expert in physical organic chemistry and his contributions have become landmarks for others in the fields of nucleophilic substitution, ion pairing and catalysis, carbanion reactivities and structures, and isotope effects.

Erwin received awards such as the 1985 Society of Chemistry Syntex Award and the R.U. Lemieux Award in organic chemistry and, in 2014, he was inducted into the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1998 a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Chemistry was published in his honour. 

Erwin had a strong loyalty to the department and cared deeply about students. In 2008, Erwin, his wife, Penny, and daughters Irene and Jacqui established the Dr. Erwin Buncel Scholarship to support students who enter the third year of a chemistry program.

Erwin was born in Presov, eastern Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), in 1931; he and his family suffered greatly during the atrocities of the Second World War. The  Buncel Scholarship had been established in memory of his parents, Ignacz and Irena, and his sister Marta, who were persecuted and died during the war.

Erwin only received a continuous and high-quality education after moving to England in 1946, where he attended William Ellis Grammar School in London, obtained a BSc degree and eventually a PhD at University College London on organosilicon chemistry in 1957. He then performed post-doctoral research at the University of North Carolina with Joe Bunnett, and at McMaster University with Arthur Bourns.

After a brief stint as an industrial chemist at the American Cyanamid Central Research Labs in Stamford, Conn., he returned to Canada to join our department at Queen’s in 1962. He quickly rose through the ranks and was a full professor by 1970.

Erwin’s many humanitarian contributions must be mentioned; he was the director of a CIDA-funded project for the establishment of the Centre for Agrochemical Technology in Nigeria, and he served as the Canadian representative on the IUPAC initiative Chemical Research Applied to World Needs.

In his humble and gentle way Erwin was making our world a better place.

He will be missed by all of us!

Written by Dr. Buncel’s colleagues and friends in the Department of Chemistry.


Ralph Allen, Distinguished University Professor (Fine Art), and former director, Agnes Etherington Art Centre,died March 26.

Gerard Wyatt, Professor Emeritus (Biology),died March 28.

Bob Crandall, BCom’51, Professor Emeritus (Business),died April 4.

Mabel Corlett, BSc’60, Professor Emeritus (Geology),died April 14.In 1960, Dr. Corlett became the first woman to obtain a BSc in geology from Queen’s University. After obtaining her master’s and PhD at the University of Chicago, she returned to Queen’s to teach mineralogy. In doing so, she also became the first female professor in the department, where she would teach for 17 years. An obituary for Dr. Corbett is posted on the Kingston Whig-Standard website.

Obituaries, or links to obituaries,are posted on this page as we receive them. If you have memories of these professors you'd like to share, please email us: review@queensu.ca

 

[cover image of the Queen's Alumni Review issue 2, 2019, showing the 'Together' message in Mitchell Hall]