Victor Matthew Levson
August 22, 1956 – March 31, 2019
Victor Matthew Levson was born on August 22, 1956 and passed away on March 31, 2019 and is under the care of First Memorial Funeral Services.
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Victor Matthew Levson
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July 11, 2020
I was very sad to hear about Vic, especially since the news has come to me now, more than a year after his passing.
I was a graduate student at the U of A in Geology at the same time as Vic, part of that large cohort that surged the ranks of the department in the late 1980’s, many of whom went on to shape much of the progress of geology in this country over the last 35 years. I didn’t know Vic well at the time, not as much as some of Nat’s other students like Pete and Brent, but I remember sharing a few good stories and a couple pints around a table at the Power Plant with him. I remember him as always having a smile and plenty of good cheer. He was one of the good ones.
I last spoke with him in 2017, when I needed someone to independently review some plans for a proposed aggregate mine that my employer at the time was thinking of investing in. Vic was the perfect person for the job. He provided insightful and wise advice and, ultimately, helped my employer to avoid making a very poor investment decision. He was a joy to work with on this project.
While many of our professors from that time are now gone, Vic is the first one of those students I knew in my grad school days who have now passed. We were the same age. It drives home to me deeply how precious our time on this planet is and how we should treasure every moment.
My deepest condolences to Vic’s wife and children. Please know that your husband and father was very much admired and how many of us remember him with fondness.
December 2, 2019
I too was a student of Vic’s at UVic around 2005. I knew very little of quaternary geology prior to taking his course. Vic’s teaching style, knowledge and easy-going nature all changed that. It became my favourite class in my entire undergrad and I will always have fond memories of him. The field trip he organized to the Channeled Scablands of Washington state was truly impressive and remarkable. Thank you Vic for opening my eyes to such a fascinating subject. I didn’t know him long, but I was struck by his honesty, humility and kindness. I was terribly sorry to hear of his passing and wish to send along my sincere condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. Rest In Peace Vic.
June 5, 2019
I am one of the many students who received their education in Quaternary Geology from Vic. In my case it was at the University of Victoria in the early 2000's. It was one of the best courses I took during my undergraduate studies. His affable nature and his ease communicating concepts and ideas to his students made learning fun and exciting.
I became aware of his passing just this morning and I am still in disbelief as I write this. I have nothing but fond memories of Vic, and reading many of the other messages here tells me that my life was not the only one touched by his presence.
My sincerest condolences go to the Levson family. He is missed and he will always be in the back of my mind whenever I find myself in the field admiring glacial features.
Rest peacefully, Vic.
May 5, 2019
I was fortunate to have Vic as a professor both as a student and as a teaching assistant. His love of teaching shone through more than any other professor I've had. His enthusiasm and love for Quaternary geology was infectious, and is the reason I am in the career I am today. It would especially shine through on field trips... only Vic could bring a section to life the way he did. Years later, he would always be available for career advice, for discussions about interesting sections, or even just a quick hello. I'm saddened to know that he won't be there for those delightful interactions any more, but feel so fortunate that I had them for years. Thank you Vic.
May 4, 2019
Dear Barb et al,
Really sorry to hear about Vic. And very sorry that I can not make the celebration of his life, I could not change my field plans. Vic had a major influence on my career and development as well as the Quaternary of Canada. He was my TA when as an undergrad I took an elective Glacial Geology course from Nat. Vic was a great, dedicated TA. The field project we did for that course out at the gravel pits of Villeneuve was one of the main reasons that I went into Quaternary. I still have the report we had to do with all Vic and Norm's comments on it. The fieldtrip we went on for the course was epic, it was a baptism of fire: he took us to a bunch of sections around Jasper; through thick forest, up and down steep slopes (Some of the students referred to it as a death march!); then up to the Athabasca Glacier, and we even went into an ice cave! Sure can not do that now, there is fencing all along the front of the glacier. But we all survived. Vic also TA'ed me when I took photogeology. I think that is when he told me I had an armour piercing voice. He was not wrong.
Vic has been around for much of my career, we spent a lot of time in the field and on field trips throughout BC and Yukon. We ended up doing our PhD’s with Nat at about the same time and we had great discussion about all things Quaternary, then, and through the rest of our careers. He was external examiners for some of my students, reviewed some of my papers and always gave me great insight, especially in the field. He was the consummate field geologist. It will be very strange to have a CANQUA and not have Vic there. He will certainly be missed!
April 23, 2019
I am saddened by the loss of Vic. He hired me one summer out of UBC for my first real geology job. I have fond memories of working with Vic that summer, going places on ATVs that weren’t meant for ATVs to travel, playing basketball with him and his kids during downtime. The world is a little bit less great with Vic gone. My deepest condolences to Barb and the kids❤️
April 23, 2019
Our paths crossed professionally as we represented our respective provincial and territorial geological surveys at the regional and national level, and later on socially through mutual friends. He was a thoughtful and friendly face at the table, regardless of the occasion. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. My sincerest condolences to Vic's family and friends.
April 23, 2019
Vic was taken away from us too soon. He was a leading geoscientist in the province and gave so much to the Quaternary community in Canada. Vic was a gentleman and had a wry sense of humour that always brought a smile to my face. I will miss him.
My condolences to his family.
April 23, 2019
Vic was my boss, my mentor, my friend. He had a profound impact on my life. I worked with Vic at the BC Geological Survey. He was a great boss. He was always encouraging me - always appreciative of my efforts. He helped me sooooooooo much with edits on my MSc thesis. I'm not sure I would have finished without his help. Moreover, he was so devoted to his family. He would tell me about his family and I could hear the genuine pride in his voice. As a friend I knew that he would be there for me to lend a hand or just listen. I think of Vic as one of the best people I've ever met. I will miss him dearly. All my best to Barb and the kids I can't imagine your sorrow but know that many share it. The world is a better place because of him.
April 20, 2019
I first met Vic in 1991 when I joined the BC Geological Survey in Victoria. Vic had already been there for a couple of years, and we worked together throughout the central Interior of British Columbia during that decade. Later we spent some time working together in Nunavut. Vic was an exceptional scientist, a great friend and a thoroughly decent man. His all-too-early passing is a great loss to all who had the honour to know him. I offer my most sincere sympathies to Barb and the family during this time of loss.
April 14, 2019
Vic was a very important and influential man, mentor and friend in my life. I first met Vic when I randomly mailed my resume to him near the end of my undergraduate degree at Laurentian University. I was so happy when he called to offer me a summer job in central BC when he received it. Before I knew it, I was beginning a graduate degree under his supervision at UVIC and at the British Columbia Geological Survey. I am forever grateful for the profound impact that Vic had on my life. He welcomed me into his home, provided unwavering support and imparted values on an impressionable kid that have served me well throughout my life. We shared so many laughs, explored so many BC nooks and crannies (we drove over 20,000 kms through the Province one summer evaluating placer projects!) and I have so many fond memories from the time I spent with him. I am saddened by his loss and send my sincere sympathies to Barb and family.
April 13, 2019
I will miss Vic’s laugh, his smile, his kind heartedness and generosity. I am also one of Rutter’s band of 13 at U of A (I think… I never counted how many we were). Vic and I recently reconnected a few years ago when I started a degree at Royal Roads University which included three summer residencies. That first summer (after almost 30 years of not seeing one another), he picked me up to take me to his place for supper but beforehand he wanted to look for this till that was exposed along a creek that someone had said was in the area. I was in shorts and fancy sandals, but that didn’t phase Vic. He didn’t ask if I was okay with going on a hike… So, off we went into the bushes, first through a field of thistles that were almost as tall as me, then along the muddy creek bed, hopped some boulders to cross the creek, and finally found the exposure… I think Vic was in flip flops, after all it is Victoria, so why would you need hiking boots or even running shoes for that matter? This was typical Vic, the quintessential geologist always on the lookout for knowledge and new discoveries.
Vic agreed to be my supervisor, even though he wasn’t quite sure what a Master’s of Art in Environmental Education and Communication was all about. He was pleasantly surprised to find out that he was actually going to be paid to do it! He’ll never know just how much I appreciated having him as a supervisor. He was just about to finalize my final draft. I hope to be defending sometime next month and I’m sure I’ll shed a tear or two remembering our conversations. Rest in peace Vic. You were an incredible family man, geologist and a friend to so many. My prayers and sincere condolences go out to Barb and the entire family.
April 13, 2019
I also was one of the 13 or more in Nat Rutter's graduate stable. Vic was a lovely person, always happy, always helpful, always friendly. I did not see Vic much after we all left U of A, but when I did, he would always have great stories. I am sorry to hear that he died so young.
He will be missed.
April 13, 2019
Vic was a great friend and colleague. I will always remember his humour, his honesty, his kindness, his consideration of others, his love of family, and, of course, his enthusiasm. I would tease him that during our earthquake hazard mapping exploits, we could never go to a meeting in our good clothes, because we would invariably end up in a gravel pit or a garbage dump. And it was always worth it. And it was always fun. He was a great person, scientist and teacher, and he will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathies to Barb and the family for their profound loss.
April 12, 2019
I met Vic during 1994 while working in the Nechako Basin. Being a geophysicist I admired Vic's amazing ability to unravel Quaternary geology and put it into a form that could easily be integrated with the geophysical surveys. Over the years we became good friends. We not only continued working together in the field but also co-supervised several graduate theses at UVIC. Vic's easy manner and calm disposition made working with him a fun experience. Most recently we worked together on interpreting a joint airborne EM and gamma log study for mapping groundwater aquifers in northeast BC. We were writing up our final report when he sent an e-mail saying he was in a hospital in Vancouver I will miss Vic's friendly smile and practical knowledge. I send Barb and the family my deepest sympathy.
April 11, 2019
I was deeply saddened to learn of Vic's recent passing. Sincere condolences to Barb and to their children. To me, Vic was primarily a fellow Quaternary geologist whose work I had known for years but whom I first met in person in 2007 at the INQUA congress in Australia. As Canadians abroad, we seized that opportunity to share views on many subjects, ranging from field stories to thoughtful Quaternary discussions. In the following years, as I served as Vice-president during his tenure as CANQUA President, I had the opportunity to appreciate his calm, strong leadership as well as his warm, kind nature. The Canadian Quaternary community will miss him dearly. I will miss him.
April 11, 2019
I met Vic when we were graduate students together at U of A – both part of the group of 13 or more students under Nat Rutter’s supervision. Vic at the time was living out in Stony Plain- they’d bought a cheap house rather than paying rent, but transportation was an issue. In typical Vic fashion, rather than buying one reliable car, he bought three old Datsun 501s, and at any given time he hoped one of them might be running, with the other two a source of parts!
In the field, Vic was tireless, and perhaps the best fielder worker I’ve seen to carefully work and analyse a complex section of glacial sediment. He was thorough, painstaking, and had exceptional powers of observation. When he and a group of other students (plus Nat) visited me in the field, in 10 minutes, he spotted and recovered wood from a section I’d spent a day working without finding any.
Vic and Barb were an inspiration to myself and Sandra, showing how you could combine a young family with grad school. In fact when Sandra went into labour with Beth, it was Vic who took the phone call in the office, and went to track me down (in HUB Mall drinking coffee..).
A group of us went to INQUA in Ottawa in 1987 – a first major conference for nearly all of us, and an intimidating venue to present student work- for most of us, anyway. Vic presented his Jasper research to a big audience in the main theatre, and seemed as though he was presenting to a small group of us in a seminar room – apparently nerveless, very informal, and entirely himself. That was typical- Vic never tried to present himself as anything other than that- he was down to earth, open, friendly to all, and one of the nicest people I’ve known.
Our condolences to Barb and the rest of Vic’s family – he is going to be missed by many people, but has left good memories with all who came across him.
April 4, 2019
Vic was characteristically the gentleman geologist, devoted to his family, passionate about his science and warmly loved by all those fortunate enough to have had the chance to go to school with him, work with him and experience the wonders of life with him. He played a key role in elevating Canadian Quaternary research as a primary member of Rutter's band of 13 at the U of A in the 1980s. I had the pleasure to start graduate work with Vic in 1982, and remarkably we both had the chance to move to Victoria and work together at the BC Survey for many more years. The rest was history as Vic made his permanent mark in Canadian geology. I will remember his calmness under pressure, his convictions to do his best and his unquestionable sincerity in all matters. My deepest condolences to his wife Barb and children Tim, Sarah, Mary-Anne and Becky. Rest in peace.
April 4, 2019
I was deeply deeply saddened to learn of Vic's recent passing....such a kind, happy, humorous, loving and generous man. He and Barb and the kids always represented the best model to me for a loving family. I'll always treasure my memories of being Vic's field assistant in Jasper, and many other field trips with him and Nat's Quaternary group at U of A. Barb, my heart goes out to you and I hope that Vic was able to be peaceful and pain-free.
April 3, 2019
I am so sorry to hear about Vic. I have very fond memories of working with Vic in Yukon and as colleagues in both government and the consulting world. Vic was a true gentleman and a very kind person. He was a great geologist and accomplished so much in his career. He was also a wonderful family guy and our thoughts and prayers are with Barb and the rest of the family. Rest in peace.
April 3, 2019
I am deeply sorry for the loss of Vic and will miss our talks and reflections on matters geological. Vic always had an opinion worth hearing and his accumulated knowledge of geology was a fountain that never went dry.
May God grant peace to Barb and children. We will meet again.
April 3, 2019
I am so sorry to hear about this. I met Vic at University of Alberta in the early 1980's, as a new arrival to the Quaternary Group, with a full time job, no friends, and at that time, I could barely speak English. Vic and his family were like a beacon of kindness and positive energy. Vic always had time to translate, explain, bring me up to date and generally made me feel included. His kindness, calm, gentle smile and generosity made such a difference to me during those years. Field trips were more fun, and delays or problems during field trips were just another opportunity to find the silver lining. I am grateful I met Vic. All my love and sympathy to Barb.
April 2, 2019
Vic was a wonderful person and though I only knew him professionally he was kind, knowledgeable and always had time for students. I will remember the times I spent with Vic in the field and at conferences fondly. He will be greatly missed by the Quaternary community.