Obituaries


(Feb. 6, 1997, Gazette)

Gary Charles Bourne

Members of the university community were saddened to learn of the death of Gary Bourne, Memorial's associate comptroller, on Jan. 18. He was 45 years old.

Mr. Bourne was born in St. John's on Oct. 8, 1951. He attended Memorial University and received a B.Comm. in 1973. Six years later he accepted a position as assistant comptroller for Memorial University. In 1985 he was promoted to associate comptroller, and held the position of acting comptroller from Feb. 1-Aug. 1, 1988.

Harold Squires, director of Budgets and Audits, helped interview Mr. Bourne for his initial position, and after he was hired the two became friends as well as colleagues.

"He was a loyal, hard working and dedicated employee who made a significant contribution to improving the financial systems and activities of the university," Mr. Squires recalled. "It is not easy being an associate comptroller in a university during periods of financial restraint; however, Gary was able to do it and gain the respect of all those he had dealings with."

A firm believer in professional development and lifelong learning, Mr. Bourne earned his Certified General Accountants designation in 1982, and continued to take seminars and courses, earn diplomas and serve on university committees. An active member of the community at large, he was a past president of the Newfoundland association of Certified General Accountants and of the Newfoundland branch of the Canadian Risk Management Association; served as treasurer of St. James United Church for five years; was secretary/treasurer for the Bowring Park Foundation; and was a former executive member of the Atlantic Association of University Finance Officers.

Mr. Bourne is survived by his wife, Lois, and their daughters, Andrea and Diana; his mother, Dorothy Acreman and stepfather, John; mother-in-law, Dorothy Fry; his brothers, John (a photographer in the Division of University Relations) and Wayne and their families; brothers-in-law Bob, Don, Paul and Roger Fry; and by many other relatives, friends and colleagues. Donations in his memory may be made to The Opportunity Fund at Memorial University or to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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Luke Hiscock

Luke Hiscock, a retired member of the Carpentry Unit in the Department of Facilities Management, died Jan. 21 at age 57.

Mr. Hiscock, who lived in Mount Pearl, was born Jan. 7, 1940. He came to work at Memorial in 1970 as a maintenance carpenter in the Department of Planning and Works. Two years later he was promoted to buildings maintenance assistant foreman, then one year later took a position as maintenance carpenter in the Department of University Works (now Facilities Management). He retired on May 31, 1996.

Fred Hiscock (no relation), worked side-by-side with Mr. Hiscock for 20 years, building cabinets and bookcases, repairing furniture, and performing maintenance carpentry work around the St. John's campus. It was work his friend loved, observed Fred, who said he and Mr. Hiscock also shared a love of hunting, fishing, camping, card games and parties.

"He was a very nice guy, easy to get along with," he recalled. "He was very popular; a good many people knew him at the university."

Mr. Hiscock is survived by his wife, Maxine; children, Michelle, Todd, Wade and Derek and their families; granddaughter, Erin; father, Job; and by a large circle of relatives and friends. Donations in his memory may be made to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation.

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Dr. Harry Kiefte

Dr. Harry Kiefte, a university research professor and respected molecular physicist in the Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, died Jan. 24 at age 54.

Dr. Kiefte was born in Amsterdam on Sept. 24, 1942. He came to Canada in 1952 and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Toronto, where he also completed postdoctoral work. In 1972 he accepted a position as visiting assistant professor in Memorial's Department of Physics and pursued research in the area of laser light-scattering spectroscopy. Dr. Kiefte was quickly promoted: he was appointed to the Junior Division for physics as an assistant professor in 1973, was made an associate professor in 1976, and became a full professor in 1980. From September 1989 to June 1990 he was acting head of the physics department, and in 1991 was named university research professor. Dr. Kiefte accepted the position of head of the Department of Physics in March 1995, but had to leave the position in May due to illness.

"His work, his research was everything to him, apart from his family," said close friend Dini den Otter. She and her husband, Dr. Andy den Otter, Department of History, met the Kieftes in the early 1970s when both families were enrolling their children in school. The families shared a Dutch background, and often socialized. "He was very quiet...strong," Mrs. den Otter said. "Some would say he was stern, but those that knew him would say that wasn't true. He was an avid outdoorsman. He loved skiing and hiking."

Dr. Kiefte also loved science, and his expertise in the field of condensed matter physics put Memorial University on the world map. He collaborated often with Dr. M. J. Clouter, and together they established a world class research lab for the study of simple crystals and molecular fluids. In addition to his research, Dr. Kiefte was a respected teacher and dedicated member of the university community.

A public memorial service to celebrate his life was held at St. David's Presbyterian Church in St. John's on Jan. 28. Donations in his memory may be made to the Newfoundland Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation.

Dr. Kiefte was predeceased by his wife, Diane, in 1991. He is survived by their children: Barend, and his wife, Iris; Kerry-Joy, and her husband, Michael; Bernita, Brenda, and Anna; and by grandson, David Harry; mother, Gerrigje; one sister and two brothers; and many other relatives, friends and colleagues.