Marinel Bozin passed away suddenly on Sept. 12, 2020 at the age of 54. Marinel graduated from Laurier with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1990, later becoming the owner and operator of the Oakville, Ontario business BKR Systems, an organization specializing in computer programming and technological support. Marinel is remembered as a beloved husband and cherished father, and is sadly missed by his parents, brother Marcello (BBA ’92), and extended family throughout Canada, the United States and the former Yugoslavia.
Peter E. Paul Dembski passed away on March 7, 2021. A longtime and dedicated part-time instructor in the departments of history at Laurier, the University of Waterloo and the University of Guelph, Peter published the book Travels and Identities: Elizabeth and Adam Shortt in Europe, 1911 with WLU Press in 2017. A graduate of the University of Guelph, Peter matched his passion for history with an activist sense of social justice, as well as his Golden Hawk fandom. His gentle, mirthful good company will be missed by all who knew him.
Kenneth Farrish passed away on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020 at the age of 79. Kenneth served 32 years as a physical education teacher at Kitchener Collegiate Institute. He is remembered as a dedicated educator and for his all-around love of sports.
Laurier mourns the passing of Helmuth Fischer, an instructor in the Department of Languages and Literatures who taught German at the university for more than 25 years. Helmuth was born in Graz, Austria and earned a philosophy degree at Laurier when it was known as Waterloo Lutheran University. He later earned a master’s degree in German Literature at the University of Waterloo. Helmuth is remembered as a humble person who faced the challenges of life with resilience and went above and beyond to help his colleagues, peers and students.
Longtime Laurier employee Dorothy Golschesky passed away in September at the age of 91. Dorothy retired from the position of student awards officer in 1994 after a 28-year career at Laurier. She is remembered for her outgoing personality and big heart, as well as for going above and beyond to help students, whether through the student awards office or otherwise.
Wilfrid Laurier University mourns the loss of "Canada’s Hockey Dad," Walter Gretzky, who passed away March 4, 2021 at the age of 82. A great friend of Laurier, Walter received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the university in 2014. Admired by Canadians from coast to coast, Walter was a linchpin of the Brantford community, offering countless hours to volunteer and charitable efforts. Known as Canada’s Hockey Dad as the father of National Hockey League player Wayne Gretzky, Walter was perhaps better known for the example of kindness and giving back he set for all Canadians.
Beth Harrison passed away on April 1 at the age of 71. A former executive assistant in the Office of the President at the Waterloo campus, Beth began at Laurier in December 1994 and during her time at the university provided executive support to three university presidents.
Richard Norman (Rick) Hilborn passed away on Dec. 17, 2020. Richard and his wife, Nancy Macnaughton-Hilborn, created Hilborn Pottery in Cambridge in 1979 and continued working alongside their dedicated team selling pottery across North America for more than 40 years. A lover of sports, Richard also spent more than 25 years coaching, mentoring and building minor hockey in Cambridge. Dedicated to his family and a loyal friend, Richard is remembered for bringing out the best in people and inspiring those around him, as well as his extensive knowledge of politics, history and rock 'n' roll.
Robert Cameron (Cam) McRae passed away on Nov. 4, 2020. He was 78 years old. Born in Vancouver, Robert spent his early years moving across Western Canada while his father served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. The family later settled in Toronto. Robert taught psychology and communication studies at Laurier for more than 25 years and had successful parallel careers as an automotive journalist and in the marine industry. Car racing was a passion, most recently with his 1959 Abarth as a member of the Vintage Automobile Racing Association of Canada. Talented, caring and giving, Robert is remembered as a loving husband and kind father beloved by his family and friends.
Harold Remus passed away on Oct, 18, 2020 at the age of 92. A retired professor in the Department of Religion and Culture at Laurier and adjunct professor at Martin Luther University College, Harold was a renowned scholar who played a central role in religious studies at Laurier and across Canada. He began teaching at Laurier in 1974 and continued to participate in department activities long after his retirement.
Jeffrey Robertson passed away on Nov. 21, 2020. Jeffrey was a student at Laurier from 1991 to 1995, studying economics and geography, and held a post-degree diploma in environmental health and safety. The last 13 years of Jeffrey's successful career were spent with PepsiCo, most recently as the director of environmental health and safety for PepsiCo Canada. Jeffrey also served as a part-time health and safety instructor at Conestoga College. He is remembered as always looking out for others, always positive, always smiling and always having fun.
Elizabeth Anne (McCall) Rooke passed away on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. Elizabeth taught French in both the secondary and elementary school panels with the Waterloo Region District School Board, retiring in 1997. Dedicated to her students and profession, she also devoted countless hours to her involvement with the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW), coordinating and supporting the CFUW Book Sale, writing the club's history and building a circle of long-lasting friendships. In retirement, she became involved in the Probus Women's Club of Waterloo and Retired Teachers of Ontario. Elizabeth is fondly remembered as a music lover, avid reader, passionate hockey fan and world traveller.
Austin Donald Denman (Don) Wilson passed away on Dec. 13, 2020. He was 78 years old. Don attended and played football at Central High School in Hamilton and later at Laurier. Following graduation, he served as a high school teacher with the Haldimand Board of Education for 31 years and became a respected football coach in Dunnville and Caledonia, Ontario, as well as with the Golden Hawks. Among his many honours were being inducted into the Caledonia Hall of Fame, as well as the dedication of Wilson Football Field at Caledonia's McKinnon Park Secondary School. Don possessed a profound love for developing character in youth. Anyone who played on one of Don's teams will recognize his motto: "Never cheat, never lie and always do your very best."