In Memoriam

Departed Allisonians Fall 2021

Compiled from information sent to University Advancement May 16, 2021 – Sept. 15, 2021


Please feel welcome to submit memories of departed Allisonians you have known and loved.

Eleanor C. (Kirker) Knight — 1940
Margaret E. Dimmitt — 1945
Edith M. (Carew) Nutter — 1945
Joan A. (Dickie) Robinson — 1945
John E. Swanton — 1945
Lucille E. (McNamara) Jones — 1948
Paul F. McNichol — 1949
Ruth Hester Craig Innes — 1950
Joan A. (Booth) Thom — 1951
Hugh S. MacKenzie — 1954
Julie M. (Meikle) Simmons — 1954
Julie (Denyar) Thomas — 1954
Malcolm Cogswell — 1956
Dorothy M. (Johnson) MacKenzie — 1956
Allister A. MacLeod — 1956
Michael G. Meacher — 1958
Dr. William D. Harrison — 1958
Heather E. (MacLennan) Little — 1958
Judith A. (Russell) Skinner — 1965
Richard J. Garnett — 1968
Dr. Edward J. Tyczynski — 1968
Dr. Jonne P. (Webb) Warner — 1968
Lorraine Carpenter — 1972
Martin Flewwelling — 1974
Marilyn Pettis — 1974
Robert G. Lightbourn — 1982
Patricia Schell — 1982
Mary I. (Smith) Trenholm — 1984, 1986
Tim F. Kneeland — 1988
Karen Marie Sears — 1989
Kaylie J. (Ashley) Nicholson — 1991
Brent Robert Wetmore — 1995

Margaret Winnifred (MacDonald) Chalmers — Friend
Joseph Milner — Friend

Verna Mary Irene (Webber) Gass — Former Board of Regents

Alice (McFarlane) Adams — 1954 — Former Faculty
Dr. Ross C. Barclay — 1949 — Former Faculty
Dr. Brian Ellard — Former Faculty
Harold Feist — Former Faculty
Gay Leslie Hansen — Former Faculty

Submitted by her partner, Thaddeus Holownia

“I love learning and I love helping others learn. Teaching gives me extra incentive to expand my own knowledge and to share it with others who are interested.” — Gay Hansen

For 40 years (1979-2018) Gay Hansen dedicated her professional life to the students of Mount Allison University. She lectured classes and instructed labs in multiple fields throughout her career. Although she covered numerous subjects — animal biology, parasitology, chordate anatomy, ecology, coastal marine biology, and ichthyology — her particular passion was for ornithology.

Gay’s life was largely defined by the passion she had for helping others. As a mother, ornithologist, horseperson, and multi-talented craft artist, she shared her knowledge and passion for many subjects with anyone who showed interest.

She instilled a love for the natural world in her children. The farm she built in Jolicure, with her life partner Thaddeus Holownia, reflects her love of a simple and environmentally-conscious lifestyle. Thaddeus, Joseph, Inga, Theo (’12), Julian, Tracey (’07), and all those she touched throughout her life, will forever have a greater appreciation for the world around them because of time spent with Gay.

Surrounded by her family, on the overcast afternoon of July 18, 2021, Gay was laid to rest with a natural burial in the Jolicure Cemetery.

A Song Sparrow sang loudly.

Submitted by her son, Robert Bewick Dimmitt

Margaret (Peggy Bewick) Dimmitt attended MtA in 1941-42 after graduating from Saint John High School. According to her, WWII forced MtA to close and her class had to return home. 

With the war’s disruption, as well as its impact on many of her classmates who would not return to MtA, she decided to complete a nursing degree at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.

Even though she attended for only a year, that year made a lasting impression on her and she spoke fondly of her time at MtA for the rest of her 97 years. She passed away peacefully on May 25, 2021.

DR. ROSS BARCLAY (’49), professor emeritus of chemistry
Submitted by his daughter, Nancy J. Tregunno

Dr. Ross Barclay (’49), OC, professor emeritus, passed away Aug. 12, 2021 at the age of 92. He was predeceased by his wife, the former Helen Fraser (’50).

Affectionately known as “Ross the Boss,” he taught organic chemistry and conducted research at Mount Allison for over 40 years. A recipient of the Lord Beaverbrook Scholarship, he was also awarded the Herbert and Leota Tucker Teaching Award as well as the Order of Canada for his teaching and pioneering work in the Chemistry field. In 1994, the Barclay Building was named after him to honour his contributions to teaching and research.

Even after his retirement, Ross kept in touch with many of his former students, fellow chemists and peers. He was an avid supporter of MtA athletics and could often be found at various sport events proudly cheering on the Garnet and Gold.

Beyond the accolades he received for his professional accomplishments, Ross was known as a true gentleman and a family man with a passion for gardening.

A life well lived. He is missed.

Ross’s life will be celebrated at the Mount Allison Chapel at a later date.

DR. ROSS BARCLAY (’49), professor emeritus of chemistry
Submitted by Norval McConnell (’80)

Dr. Barclay (affectionately known as “Ross the Boss” by those of us who studied organic chemistry in the late ’70s) was one of those professors who was more than just a teacher.

I first encountered him in 1977 in Intro to Organic Chemistry, followed by classes each year. He was a quiet but impactful presence in the building that was later to be named in his honour. It was no surprise that he was also a coach in Sackville who dedicated hours to the local youth, and that he continued to compete with a zest we should all reach for well into his 90s.

He attended many of my basketball games and always had a positive word for the team. I asked him to write a letter of reference for dental school (I didn’t get in) and for education (I did get in and that path changed my life). I am forever grateful he believed in me.

Years later at a chemistry reunion I reintroduced myself. I truly believed that after almost 40 years he would barely remember me. That was not the case. It really never is for the good ones.

He told me he had heard many positive things of my teaching career and that not getting into dental school was a true blessing for me. Then, with his always great sense of humour, or perhaps truism, he added, “I never should have written that letter of reference to Dalhousie Dental School. It was a mistake, you were always meant to do something else.” Who remembers these things after 40 years when you’ve taught thousands of students, most certainly stronger academically than I was? He did. It reminded me again another reason we all held him in such high esteem.

Submitted by his son, Patrick Mackenzie 

Raised in London, ON, our father’s formal training began at the Ontario College of Art and continued at Mount Allison where he met Dorothy (Dot) Johnson (’56) who would become his wife and chief critic for more than 60 years. As an artist, Dad created his place in the Canadian art world though his constant search for the essential form. Throughout his evolution from high realism to a freer abstract style, he retained his essential loving respect for the human form and the world around him.

Submitted by former roommate, Doug Carson (’58)

William Douglas Harrison, who passed away on Oct. 20, 2020, had a career that would inspire the most venturesome college-bound teenager.

Academically Billy’s legacy reads like the curriculum vitae of the hero of a fiction novel. He received a BSc from MtA (magna cum laude) with first-class honours in physics in 1958. He then graduated from Imperial College at the University of London, which he attended as a Lord Beaverbrook Overseas Scholar.

In 1963 he received a PhD in nuclear physics from the California Institute of Technology. After a couple of years pursuing post-doctoral studies in Minnesota, Billy decided that nuclear reactors were not located in places that fitted his lifestyle.

Back in California, he had made the acquaintance of a fellow Saint John resident whose academic interest was glaciers. Here was a field that captured Billy’s interest. He could apply his knowledge of physics and experience the outdoor life he enjoyed.

Fast forward to 1998, Billy retired from the University of Alaska as professor emeritus, but continued as editor of the Journal of Glaciology for several years while maintaining his status as the authority on so-called “galloping glaciers.” 

Billy’s non-academic life had the ingredients of an Indiana Jones movie. He survived two serious helicopter crashes (the helicopters did not!). Next to mountain climbing, sailing was his passion.

William Harrison, with his outstanding contributions in the field of geophysics, never forgot his undergraduate years at Mount Allison. He was an alumnus of whom the University can take much pride.

Submitted by Alexander Flack (’59) 

Michael Meacher passed away on Aug. 3, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Harriet (Campbell) (’60); daughters, Carolyn and Jennifer, and son Michael Jr. (’89), as well as his cherished grandchildren Lucy, Logan, and Michael.

Michael graduated in engineering from NSTC, MIT, and the UNTD Officer Training program. Michael enjoyed a career in the natural gas industry.

He was a kind, humble, and gentle man who was a source of inspiration, strength, and support to people of all ages. He had a zest for life and learning and always enjoyed a vigorous but reasoned debate. His constant smile and infectious laughter endeared him to his large circle of friends.

Michael was physically active all of his life. He ran with the PEI Roadrunners and participated in Boston Marathons. He enjoyed the annual hunting camp trips to NB with his buddies and found these trips both relaxing and invigorating. 

Submitted by Steve Heckbert (’73)

1970. A crisp day in September. I drive from Miramichi to Sackville, my stuff in the station wagon. I’m greeted by a bright young freshman welcoming me back to Mount A with a cheery air and a voice of velvet: “Marty Flewwelling, Steve. I’ll be helping you with your bags.”

Our souls intertwine, our bond deepening each evening as we talk and talk — of everything young men need to figure out. We dream up epic pranks. One day a garbage can appears high in the morning sky, draped over the chapel’s steeple.

We become best friends for life at Mount A. I’m drawn by his fearlessness; he by mine. 

1984. A master photographer, Marty takes beautiful photos of my marriage to Linda at the lily pond, crafting gilded memories as our families unite in a perfect setting.

2017. Marty tells me he’s been diagnosed with the disease that will eventually take his life. He fights valiantly; I stand by him. I now salute Marty Flewwelling for all the marvelous fun we had, his undying courage, his bedrock humility. He was a prince of a man.

Submitted by her daughter, Wendy Gervais

Pat Schell lived in Saint John, NB and spent much of her life at the beautiful cottage built by her husband Carl on the shores of the Saint John River. She had an affinity for, and was inspired by, the natural landscape and had a life-long concern for the changes in environment well before others noticed the consequences of those changes.

Pat’s studies at Mount Allison (1978-82), opened the door to possibilities of exploring diverse materials and found objects to construct large assemblages and sculptures. Considered at the forefront of sculptural installation art in New Brunswick, her work has been shown across the province and Canada in various public and private galleries. Many of her works are permanently displayed in public spaces in New Brunswick. 

During her career, Pat’s art won awards; was purchased by private and public collections, including the Canada Council Art Bank, the CollectionARTSNB, and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery; and was featured in gallery catalogues and magazines such as Arts Atlantic and ESPACE magazine.

The intrepid artist, Pat Schell continued to explore and make art even up to her last days at the age of 90.