Siegfried Thomeier passed away
peacefully and courageously in hospital on Friday March 12,
2004. He was born in 1937, to a German family in the Sudetenland
region of Czechoslovakia, and trained as a mathematician at
the University of Frankfurt, receiving his doctoral degree
(Dr. Phil. Nat.) in algebraic topology in 1965. Dr. Thomeier
was assistant/associate professor at the University of Aarhus
in Denmark from 1965 to 1968 and joined MUN as a full professor
in 1968. He held that position until his retirement in 1996.
His mathematical research was on Whitehead products, an important
topic in the investigation of one of the deepest and most
challenging problems of mathematics, i.e. the computation
of the homotopy groups of the spheres. He was the main player
in setting up the first PhD program in what was then the Department
of Mathematics, i.e. in the area of algebraic topology in
the early 1970s, and taught many graduate courses in that
area. He was editor of several conference proceedings on some
of these topics, and spoke on them at numerous conferences
and universities in Europe and North America.
Dr. Thomeier had an early interest in computers, owning his
own Tandy in the 1970s at a time when, for many mathematicians,
computers were something of a curiosity. In the 1980s he developed
an interest in Coding Theory, and in particular error correcting
codes, and gave talks on these topics at several conferences
and universities. He was also involved with the history of
His teaching was skilled and competent. His clear and precise
teaching style translated into clear and precise lecture notes.
Several of his former students have commented that both his
professionalism and keen sense of humour stood out in the
classroom. He took a strong interest in our senior undergraduate
Pure Mathematics courses, and over 25 honours students wrote
their dissertations under his supervision.
He is survived by his wife Mechthild, son Wolfgang, daughter
Karin and family in Germany.
Gertrude Crosbie, who received an honorary doctor of laws
degree from Memorial in 1997, passed away March 27, 2004.
She and her husband, Alexander Harris Crosbie, formed the
Cerebral Palsy Parents Association in St. John's. Seven years
later, in 1968, when the group learned that children with
disabilities were having trouble obtaining adequate schooling,
it opened a classroom in the Mundy Pond Boys Club for children
with physical and learning disabilities. This classroom became
the Virginia Waters School, and its founding organization
evolved into the Cerebral Palsy Association of Newfoundland.
In 1971 the Crosbies were named Citizens of the Year. An avid
volunteer at the Maritime History Archives, Mrs. Crosbie has
compiled information on births, deaths and marriages in the
province which can be used by researchers interested in genealogy
and aspects of Newfoundland history. In 1993 she was named
to the Order of Canada.
Thomas Corbin Noel
T. C. Noel, retired professor of Physics and former assistant
vice-president (administration/physical operations) at Memorial,
passed peacefully away in the presence of his family at the
Palliative Care Unit of the Leonard A. Miller Centre on Sunday,
March 28, after a long illness. He was 85. Predeceased by
his son Tommy. Leaving to mourn his wife Ella; brothers: Nathaniel,
St. Philips and Alex (Geraldine), Quebec; nieces, nephews,
other relatives and friends. Professor Noel, a native Newfoundlander,
joined the faculty of MUN in 1951 as acting head of the Department
of Physics. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may
be made to the Memorial University Scholarship Fund, Office
of Alumni Affairs and Development, Memorial University of
Newfoundland, St. John's, NL A1C 5S7.