McInnis & Holloway
Funeral Homes

McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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McInnis & Holloway could receive.
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March 4, 1930 – March 29, 2013

John Kentfield, beloved husband of Amelia Kentfield of Calgary, passed away on March 29, 2013 at the age of 83 years.

An only child, John was born and raised in the UK. He received his undergraduate engineering from Southampton University in 1959 and his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of London in 1963, participating in the early development of gas turbines. John moved to the USA in 1963 to work as a Project Engineer for the Curtiss-Wright Corporation in New Jersey. He met the love of his life, Amelia, in New York, where they were married in 1966. In 1970, John accepted a position as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Calgary, where he remained for the rest of his life. Although officially retired in 2004, as a Professor Emeritus, he was actively engaged in research until the day he died.

John was a kind, gentle and modest man with a wonderful sense of humour and a passion for knowledge. He understood how energy could be harnessed for the good of mankind and devoted his life to the wellbeing of others through the intelligent use of technology. He was a very creative engineer who used his grasp of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics to develop new and innovative solutions to global technical challenges. He saw the potential of wind energy decades before it became a viable alternative energy resource. He created a unique turbine blade to harness the wind more efficiently that was particularly suited for use in developing countries. Another of John’s novel aerodynamic designs was later incorporated into SpaceShipOne, the world’s first commercial, manned space vehicle. Those who knew and worked with John and particularly his friends, colleagues and students, always felt enriched by the experience. He will be sadly missed.

John is survived by his loving wife Amelia.

There will be no formal service for John at this time. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of John Kentfield, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, Telephone: 403-276-2296.

Offer Condolence for the family of KENTFIELD, John Alan

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Condolence Messages

  1. Kevin Moorman :

    It was truly an honour to study under Dr. Kentfield at the University of Calgary. I know there are many who share the same feelings.
    Sincerely, Kevin Moorman

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  2. Bert Unterberger :

    I worked with John at The University of Calgary since 1970 and will miss him. He was indeed a kind and gentle man. My condolences to his wife Amelia.
    Bert Unterberger

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  3. Tom and Shirley Swaddle :

    I am deeply saddened to learn of John’s passing. For many years, he was my regular companion at lunch at the University of Calgary. He took a quiet but intense and intelligent interest in all manner of topics – technical, scientific, historical, political, and whatever was in the current news – and his soft-spoken discussions invariably brightened my day. John will be sorely missed by those who knew him in the University community. My sincere condolences go especially to Amelia.
    Tom Swaddle (Professor Emeritus of Chemistry)

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  4. Gayle and Fred Trofimenkoff E.Eng U of C :

    To Amelia Kentfield.

    Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your husband John. His was a long and impressive career at the University.

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  5. I have many good memories of his ingenuity, humour, and straightforward style of writing and explaining his work.
    Don Bayly, former grad student 1978-81

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  6. Len and Avis Bruton :

    To Amelia Kentfield

    Please accept our condolences on the passing of John. Not only was he a brilliant research engineer with a great love of teaching, but he was modest, humorous, gentle and sincere. It was a pleasure knowing him.

    Len and Avis Bruton

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  7. I have only now learned of John’s death. I frequently met him on the Number 9 bus and always enjoyed his engaging thoughts, mostly centered on his research and the University of Calgary. His students are fortunate indeed to have benefited from his insights. With our most sincere condolences to Amelia.

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  8. Luiz CV Fernandes :

    I’ve just heard Dr. Kentfield has passed away. Very sad news. John was a great person, unique personality and intelligence. I was his grad student and later we worked together in 1996 in an engine project. I will certainly miss him and the world lost a great thinker and human being.
    Sincerely, Luiz
    PS Is there a way to contact his wife Amelia? My deep condolences…

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