April 5, 1930 – Chicago, Illinois
April 18, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta
It is with great sadness that we report that Jack Century died suddenly on Friday, April 18, at age 84. Jack is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marcia, and by his three sons, Paul (Hélène), Michael (Barbara), and Douglas as well as five grandchildren: Louis, Adam, Noah, Samuel, and Lena.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, on April 5, 1930, Jack developed a passionate interest in geology at the University of Illinois. After living and working in various oil-patch states—from Oklahoma to Utah to New Mexico—it was while employed by Amoco as a petroleum geologist that Jack was transferred to Calgary in 1959.
After years of successful exploratory work with Amoco, he struck out on his own as an independent petroleum consultant in 1973. Jack was responsible for exploration and discovery of a number of significant oil and natural gas plays in Western Canada and the U.S.
Over time, Jack came to understand the natural processes of the environment and believed profoundly that geologists should serve as the “custodians of the Earth.” He was the Founding Chair of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists (CSPG), Environmental Geology Division and in 1992 was a Charter Member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Division of Environmental Geosciences. Jack was the recipient of the CSPG’s prestigious “Tracks Award” in 1988 and again in 1990-1992.
After his retirement as a petroleum consultant in 1995, he continued to be active as an environmental geologist and, in 2008, Jack was trained as an official presenter of “An Inconvenient Truth” in Montreal by The Climate Project-Canada, an Al Gore environmental organization.
Jack had a vibrant enthusiasm for life: his passions included photography, travel, hiking, skiing, sailing the Glenmore reservoir, and summer family trips to Kelowna, British Columbia. He enjoyed many sports—particularly rooting for his old hometown teams the Chicago Bears and Cubs, and for his alma mater, the University of Illinois.
For many years, he and his wife Marcia enjoyed getaways to an old log cabin in the foothills and later a condo in Canmore. Jack loved music, from the folk songs of Woody Guthrie to classical performances: favorite memories include many family sing-alongs with Jack playing a vintage upright piano.
Born into a progressive Jewish family, involved with labor and social justice activism, Jack always expressed great interest in current events and lively political debate.
Although an iconoclast and religiously unobservant, he showed respect to persons of all faiths, and developed warm friendships among people of all races and cultures. Jack was active in Calgary Jewish life and contributed to the development and building of the Calgary Jewish Centre as a meeting place for all aspects of the Jewish community and an opportunity for ecumenical engagement.
A Memorial Service will be held at B’nai Tikvah (900-47 Ave SW, Calgary, AB) on Friday, April 25, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Calgary Jewish Community Centre: 1607 – 90th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2V 4V7, 403-253-8600.
In living memory of Jack Century, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences