Western University
In Memoriam

In Memoriam 2016

Recognizing the passing of members of the campus community who during their careers shared their talents in helping Western students, faculty, staff and alumni to be their best.

In memoriam - Gary Burt (posted on Feb. 1)

Gary Burt a staff member with Ivey Business School, died on January 30, 2016 at the age of 63. Gary had 45 years of service at Western.

Devoted husband to Cindy (nee Nichols) for 33 years. Much loved dad to Naomi (Dave) Moore, Leanne and predeceased by Andrew. Proud grandpa to Madigan, Callie and Maxwell. Loving brother to Brian (Anna). Beloved son of Joan and predeceased by Ken, son-in-law to Stan Nephin; predeceased by Mona and Ken. Gary will be sadly missed by his extended family, nieces, nephews and many friends. Gary was a devoted employee at Western for 45 years. Visitation will be held at FOREST LAWN FUNERAL HOME, 1997 Dundas St. E. (at Wavell) on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Funeral service will be held in the chapel on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 1 p.m. (visitation 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.). Interment at Forest Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery. In lieu flowers, donations may be made to Heart & Stroke Foundation, JDRF or Canadian Cancer Society. Online condolences accepted at www.forestlawnmemorial.ca

In memoriam - John Knight (posted on Feb. 1)

Professor Emeritus, John Knight had 26 years of service as a faculty member in the Department of Economics at Western. John died on January 21, 2016 at the age of 67, following a nine month battle with cancer.

He was born September 12, 1948 in Earlwood, NSW, Australia. Predeceased by his loving wife, Mary Therese (McGrane) (2008), and his parents, John Knight (1972) and Patricia Gloria (Haigh) Knight (1995). Loving brother to Patricia Dawn Gibb and Lynette Anne Rocca of NSW. Professor of Economics at the University of Western Ontario since 1987. Mentor and good friend to many, particularly, his students. John will be missed by his extended family, colleagues and friends world-wide. Memorial Mass will be held in the Chapel at Windermere on the Mount, 1486 Richmond Street, London, Ontario on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. Memorial donations to http://convio.cancer.ca/goto/JohnKnight. Interment NSW, Australia.

In memoriam - Belvena "Belle" Potts (posted on Jan. 28)

When she retired in 1999, Belvena Potts had 42 years of service as a staff member in the Department of Medicine at Western. Belvena died on January 26, 2016 at the age of 75 at St. Joseph's Hospice, Sarnia, ON.

Belle was the loving mother of Carolyn Potts, and is remembered as "Gramma Belle" by her grandchildren Taylor and Justine Moore whom she absolutely adored. She is also fondly remembered by her sister Gwenith VanAcker (Rule) of Alymer, ON, and her sisters-in-law Shirley Kirkwood of Burlington ON and Marilyn MacRae of Burlington ON. Belle was predeceased by her former husband James "Jim" Brian Potts (2011), and her parents Cecil Fredrick Rayfield (1971) and Ethel Rayfield (Mars) (1984). Belle is also survived by her brother Ralph Rayfield of Chatham, ON. Belle enjoyed a long and fulfilling career at the University of Western Ontario, London, ON (Western University), which began in the Department of Continuing Education in 1957 and lasted until her retirement in 1999 from the Department of Medicine. During her more than 42 years at UWO, it was not uncommon to hear across the campus "Check with Belle Potts, she will know,"as she was renowned as a tremendous source of information. Belle was highly respected by both faculty and staff for her sense of professionalism and yet her kind heart always shone through when her advice was sought; she always made time for those who were in need. Belle constantly led by example and carried herself with poise whilst acting in the best interest of the University. Upon her retirement, Belle treasured her time in Bright's Grove. She loved spending time with her grandchildren, watching with pride as they grew into the young adults they are now. She enjoyed countless hours in her gardens and the quiet solitude of the lake shore. Belle will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. Cremation has taken place. A private wake will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2016 for friends and family; by invitation only. Arrangements entrusted to the McKENZIE & BLUNDY FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CENTRE , 519-344-3131. As an expression of sympathy, friends who wish may send memorial donations to St. Joseph's Hospice, 475 N. Christina St., Sarnia, N7T 5W3 or Bluewater Health Palliative Care, 89 Norman St., Sarnia, N7T 6S3. Messages of condolence & memories may be left at www.mckenzieblundy.com. A tree will be planted in memory of Belvena Potts in the McKenzie & Blundy Memorial Forest. Dedication service Sunday, September 18th, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at the Wawanosh Wetlands Conservation Area.


In memoriam - Joseph Cummins (posted on Jan. 12)

Professor Emeritus, Joseph Cummins a retired Faculty member from the Department of Plant Sciences died on January 8, 2016 at the age of 82. Prior to his retirement in 1996, Professor Cummins had 23 years of service at Western.

Joe passed away peacefully with family and friends present after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. Born in Whitefish, Montana to Harold and Catherine Cummins, Joe earned his Bachelor of Science in Horticulture with the help of scholarship awards. He was awarded his PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Wisconsin in 1962, and his postdoctoral research was completed at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research in Wisconsin, and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Prior to moving to London in 1972 to accept a faculty position at the University of Western Ontario, he taught genetics at Rutgers University and the University of Washington (Seattle). His research was in the area of cellular RNA and DNA in the cell cycle, in the 1970s and 80s his focus turned to the environment and the effects of pollution on genes. During his career he has been involved in a wide range of environmental issues related to mercury, asbestos, PCBs, pesticides, toxic waste, and genetic engineering. Professor Cummins is the author of more than 200 scientific and popular articles. At the University of Western Ontario, Joe was instrumental in starting and teaching a course on Environmental Toxicology, and he taught Advanced Genetics, Microbial Genetics, Human Genetics, Regulation of Gene Activity, and Cell Biology. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Cummins dedicated much of his life and energy to environmental issues including the cleanup of Pottersburg Creek in Ontario as well as serving as an advisor to numerous environmental groups, including sitting on the board of Greenpeace. Dr. Cummins was well known and highly respected as a passionate advocate for mother earth. As a fearless and determined teacher, researcher and man of science Joe worked tirelessly to improve the quality of our water, air and crops and protect our planet from abuse. Many of his friends and colleagues knew him as "Mighty Joe Cummins" because of the passion and determination that he brought to his work and projects. Dr. Cummins' work is now done and our planet is a cleaner and better place to live thanks to his efforts and persistence. In the words of his nephew from Seattle he was a man of science with a heart for justice and equally brilliant, kind, courageous and empathetic. Joe's hobbies included tinkering with computers and enjoying nature's treasures through hiking and travel and he was an avid history buff. While in high school he distinguished himself as a championship wrestler and his opponents then and throughout his lifetime were no doubt overwhelmed by his competitive spirit. Joseph was a loving and proud father of his daughter Lili and is survived by Sisters Sonia, Polly, Dodi and Nora as well as many loving nieces and nephews living mostly in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Joe was predeceased by his brother Harold Jr. and by his beloved wife Katya. A memorial will be held at JOHN T. DONOHUE FUNERAL HOME , 362 Waterloo Street at King Street, on Sunday, January 17th. Visitation from 12:00 noon until the time of the memorial service at 1 o'clock. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to your favourite environmental group.

The flag on the UC tower will be lowered on January 17, 2016 until 11:00 a.m. in memory of Professor Cummins.

In memoriam - Sampo Paunonen (posted on Jan. 7)

Sampo Paunonen, a Professor from the Department of Psychology died on December 29, 2015 at the age of 63. At the time of his death Sampo had 30 years of service at Western.

Beloved husband of Raija and loving father of Ari. Dear brother of Anja of Finland, Keijo of Mexico, and the late Rita. He will be greatly missed by his nieces and nephews, and by his many friends and colleagues. Sam was a long-time member of the Psychology Department at Western University. Special thanks to the Nephrology team and the Dialysis Unit at University Hospital. Private cremation arrangements.



In memoriam - Geoffrey Pendrill (posted on Jan. 6)

Professor Emeritus, Geoffrey Pendrill, a retired faculty member from the former School of Library and Information Science died on Dec. 19, 2015 at the age of 92. Prior to his retirement in 1988, Geoffrey had 20 years of service at Western.

Sadly missed by his beloved wife Margaret and his sons Richard (Linda), Robert (Susan) and his four grandchildren Elaine, Ian, Katherine and Matthew, of whom he was always very proud. Geoffrey and Margaret celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in September 2015. Geoffrey was born in London, England in 1923, volunteered for the RAF in 1941 and then attended Emmanuel College, Cambridge and University College, London where he developed his life-long passion for languages. He later joined the staff of the Wellcome Historical Medical Library in London and was later appointed as Librarian of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh. After a decade in Edinburgh, Geoffrey moved to the University of Sheffield where he lectured for several years in Medical History and Library Science. Geoffrey, Margaret and their two young sons emigrated to Canada in 1968 where he finished his career as Professor Emeritus at the School of Library and Information Science at Western in 1988. He could make any conversation interesting, yet always in a kind and caring way. A private cremation has taken place and an English oak tree will be planted in his memory. Geoffrey lived a long and fulfilling life thanks in part to the wonderful care received over the years at London Health Sciences, Byron Family Medical Centre and most recently, PeopleCare nursing home. Condolences may be left at www.londoncremation.com. Those wishing to make a donation in his memory are asked to consider London Health Sciences.