Eric Lars Tollefson passed away in Calgary, Alberta on September 20, 2009. He was born October 15, 1921, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and was raised on the family farm near Mossbank, Saskatchewan. He earned his B.A. Honors and M.A. from the University of Saskatchewan and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Toronto. From 1951 he worked with the National Research Council in Ottawa, next Standard Oil of Indiana and later Chemcell Limited in Edmonton, where he enjoyed teaching occasional courses at Camrose Lutheran College. In 1967, Eric was invited to join the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department of the University of Calgary. He ultimately became Head of the Department, and was responsible for a number of research projects and graduate students. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the R.S. Jane Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement from the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering. Eric was very concerned about the impact on the environment posed by the burning of fossil fuels, and the threat to civilization from nuclear weapons. He served as the first Chairperson of the University of Calgary Peace and Conflict Resolution Study Group and, for a time beginning in the 1980s, on the Executive of the Canadian Pugwash Group. Members of Science for Peace will remember the volume World Security, published by SfP in 1993, as a result of Eric’s initiative. From his style of participation within Pugwash, I found him to be one of those rare people who is profoundly peaceful at heart. He was a wonderful, loving husband, father and grandfather. In living memory of Eric Tollefson, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park. Eric is survived by his loving wife of sixty-two years, Jean (nee Andrews), their daughters Beverley (Manfred Delong), Janet, and Susan (Renndy Leniczek), and their grandchildren Amanda and Andrew Delong, and Jenna and Erica Leniczek.
In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made to Parkdale United Church (Calgary) Foundation, Project Ploughshares Calgary or the Add Your Light Charitable Foundation (c/o Dr. Jan Tollefson).
ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)