ChemistryWestern Science

Dr. Laurie Harnick Passes

It is with deep sadness that we let you know that Dr. Laurie Harnick passed away peacefully at 2 pm September 5th with her friends and family at her side. Laurie worked as a scientific glassblower in the Department of Chemistry for 10 years from 1981 to 1991. She went on to complete an MA and a PhD in English specializing in American Literature and Film. She taught for many years as a part-time instructor at Western, King’s and Fanshawe College. She returned to Chemistry shortly as an interim glassblower in 2015.

Laurie had an indomitable spirit; she lit up a room with her laughter. A curious person by nature, she always marveled at the world around her. She was interested in a wide range of topics. Astronomy was always a passion, as were bees, Paris, old films, baking and books, even empty books with just lines in them. She was a treasured friend of many in the department and she will be forever missed.

At Laurie’s request, there will be a party – a celebration of her life – for us to reminisce and to laugh together. The gathering will be held September 29th, 2017, at the Berkshire Club, 4 - 8 pm.  All friends are welcome.


Dr. Laurie Elizabeth Harnick peacefully passed with her loving family and friends by her side, on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 in her 59th year. She is survived by her devoted brother Tim Harnick (Deborah), many cousins, friends and her cats Maisie and Kate. She was predeceased by her loving and cherished parents Harold Herbert (1987) and Jean Barbara McKay (2016). Laurie was a woman of many dimensions. She worked in the Department of Chemistry at Western University from 1981 to 1991 where she mastered the art and craft of scientific glassblowing while also working on her BA in Film Studies (1992). Inspired, she went on to complete a Diploma (Honours Standing) in English (1995), an MA in English Literature (1996) and a PhD in English Language and Literature (2005). She taught for many years at Western, King's and Fanshawe Colleges. Laurie had an indomitable spirit; she lit up a room with her laughter. A curious person by nature, she always marveled at and questioned the world around her. Astronomy was always a passion, as were bees, Paris, old films, baking and books. People were drawn to Laurie and her unconquerable joie de vivre; she made an indelible impression on the lives of many. She will be forever in the hearts and memories of her family and the many friends who treasured her. She was truly beloved. If desired, memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice. Friends and family are invited to celebrate Laurie's life on Friday, September 29, 2017 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Berkshire Club (500 Berkshire Drive), in London. A special thank you to the nurses and doctors who cared for Laurie in the Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital.

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