October 15, 1921 – September 20, 2009
Eric Lars Tollefson passed away in Calgary, Alberta on September 20, 2009. Eric is survived by his loving wife of 62 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. He is also survived by his brothers Ivar, Roy (Fern) and Edwin (Fran), his sister-in-law Margaret, and many special nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Lars and Lily Tollefson, his sister Grace and his brother Torie.
Eric 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. Following his graduation from the U. of T., he worked with the National Research Council in Ottawa. In 1951, Eric and Jean moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he worked with Standard Oil of Indiana. In 1956, they returned to Canada, where Eric accepted a position with Chemcell Limited in Edmonton and 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 on the Executive of the Canadian Pugwash Group. Eric’s recreational activities involved composing and playing music, painting, and writing about his youth. He loved the simple pleasures of visiting with family and friends, and sharing a meal (particularly with ice cream!). He was a wonderful, loving husband, father and grandfather.
For the last nine years Eric was in fragile health, and the family wishes to extend sincere thanks to Dr. Rick Ward and all the specialists and nurses who gave him such compassionate care over that period of time.
A celebration of Eric’s life will be held on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 2 PM, at Parkdale United Church, 2919 – 8th Ave. N.W., Calgary where Eric was an active member for many years.
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).
In living memory of Eric Tollefson, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot Chapel, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: (403) 241-0044.Print This Obituary & Condolences