OBITUARY

Peter Adams

April 17, 1936September 28, 2018
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ADAMS, Peter 1936-2018

It is with sadness that we share that [William] Peter Adams passed away on September 28th at the age of 82 . Peter is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jill, his children Joanne (Ken), Michèle (Kevin), Annette (Mark), and Will (Adriana), as well as his grandchildren John, Matthew, Nathan, Anne, Marie, Adam, Aaron, Amélie, and Sofia. In England, Peter will be missed by his siblings Christine (Colin), Gareth (Angela), Glenys (Philip), and Kevin (Liz), as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends around the world. Peter was born on April 17, 1936 in Ellesmere Port, England, a small village on the River Mersey, where he grew up during WWII. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Sheffield, where he met Jill and started competing in track and field running events. With a Carnegie Arctic Scholarship, Peter moved to Montreal in 1959 to attend McGill and complete his Ph.D. in Geography and Glaciology. Working in the Arctic with Fritz Muller on the Axel Heiberg Expedition inspired a lifelong passion for Northern research on snow and ice. Jill moved from England to join him in Montreal and they were married on September 24, 1960. After a three year research period at the McGill Subarctic Research Station in Labrador, and brief periods in Britain and France, Peter and Jill settled in Peterborough at 779 Aylmer Street, where Peter and Jill have lived for over 50 years. Peter became the Founding Chair of the Trent University Geography Department where he involved many students in his Arctic research projects. He also continued running, completing many marathons, including Boston and the Midnight Sun (Nunavut). Later, Peter became involved in many events and organizations in Peterborough; chairing the Ontario Summer Games and working with numerous organizations such as Participaction Peterborough, Snofest, Trent Valley Archives, Canadian Hearing Society, Family Literacy Day, United Way, YMCA, Midwinter Half Marathon, St. John's Church, Energy Savers Peterborough, Hospice Peterborough, Peterborough Liberal Associations, and Trent-Peterborough-Malawi Project, and others, meant a great deal to him. As well, Peter belonged to numerous associations, including the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, International Glaciological Society, Royal Canadian Institute, and the Arctic Institute of North America, and spent several years in Ottawa working for the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies. Peter’s passion for field-based research, combined with his determination to communicate the results of his work, led to many publications, ranging from over sixty peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, through several books – both monograph and edited - to dozens of reviews, newspaper and magazine articles. According to his university colleagues, Peter’s greatest achievement lies in his voluminous published research on ice and snow and, in particular, his glaciological work on Axel Heiberg Island (Nunavut), which continues today and represents the world’s longest continuous study of its kind in the high Arctic. They believe that this work is of incomparable value in understanding climate and climatic change in that Polar region. Politics became increasingly important to Peter, first as a Trustee on the Board of Education, then as MPP (1987-1990), and eventually as Member of Parliament (1993-2006), where he served as member of the Privy Council of Canada. Peter proudly served in the government of Premier David Peterson in Ontario, as well as federally, under Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin. He had a leading role in the area of post-secondary education, in particular the creation of the Millennial Scholarships Foundation and the Canada Research Chairs. After he retired from politics, Peter joined Jill in her international volunteer work. Together, they worked with Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) in Bangladesh, Uganda, Honduras, and India. In 2014, they joined Joanne's school volunteer trip to Guatemala. Also very important to Peter in his later years was his work with Casa de Angelae. Peter's lifestyle changed drastically in 2014 when he was diagnosed with cancer; however, his passion and hard work for education, athletics and service never ceased. Even when he was weak and in pain, he continued writing, walking and meeting. Peter's children and grandchildren will miss his distinctive family whistle and his unusual texts. Texting became Peter's favourite communication tool and he had numerous codes, which we assumed were from WWII spy stories. In 2010 Peter received an Honorary Degree from Trent University, and in 2012 he was made a member of the Order of Ontario. Special thanks go to everyone in the Peterborough medical community, and to Jill and Peter’s neighbours and friends, for their kindness and care. Peter’s family respectfully request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Peter's memory to Casa de Angelae orthe Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation. A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday October 13, 2018 at St. John's Anglican Church, 99 Brock Street, Peterborough. All are welcome. Arrangements through Comstock-Kaye Life Celebration Centre, 356 Rubidge Street, Peterborough, Ontario, (705)745-4683. Online condolences may be made at www.comstockkaye.com

Services

  • Memorial Service Saturday, October 13, 2018
REMEMBERING

Peter Adams

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Charles Beer

October 11, 2018

I first met Peter when we both were elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1987. He was an outstanding member in all that he did. Over the years I came to see him in various roles both in Parliament and at Trent University. He was passionate about his family and his community. In my view Peter was the ideal citizen, fully committed to making the world a better place both at home and abroad.
We will truly miss his leadership, focus and warm humour.
Charles Beer, former MPP

Darren Jones

October 7, 2018

Adams family: sorry for your loss. I ll never forget the time back in the late 70s. Mr. Adams took me and Will to the biology dept at trent and took us to the zoo and shown us the water treatment plant. It was cool. Never forget that. Again sorry for your loss. Darren and Lisa Jones.

Karl Leona Moher

October 5, 2018

Jill and family
We are sorry to hear of the loss of Peter. He will be missed by many in the City and County. As MPP and MP he was always a welcome support for many of our Township and County projects. As well, he was always there for our Santa Claus or other community parades. Thanks to you for your patience and understanding when he was with us vs. with you and your family on many of these holiday occasions. Peter will be remembered.
Karl & Leona Moher, Douro-Dummer

sergio marchi

October 2, 2018

Dear Jill and Family Members,

It was with sadness that I learned of Peter's passing. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

I had the privilege of serving with your husband and father in the House of Commons. He was a very decent man and a dedicated public servant. His heart was always in the right place when it came to the critical issues facing Parliament. You should be proud of his many accomplishments.

Warm regards,

Sergio Marchi

John Mariasine

October 2, 2018

Bright, articulate, caring, a man that could relate with people from all walks of life.

For me, it was 1973 when I met Peter for the first time at the formation of Participation Peterborough, same year I started the morning show and began running.

There were many many more community efforts including politics that I had the honour of working with Peter Adams.

Peter had a significant impact on my life and the life of my family in Peterborough. We simply loved Peter and Jill and family.

From the Mariasines, including Jason, Jennifer and Katie, thanks for the incredible memories and our wonderful friendship.

Sincerest condolences to the Adams family.



Neil Wilson

October 1, 2018

I am devastated by Peter's death. Peter and the Trent University Geography Department turned me from a self-deprecating northern Ontario kid into a self-confidant man which in turn led to a reasonably successful career and life. Without Peter and the environment he created, this would not have happened. He was an incredibly fine man and a great loss.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

It is with sadness that we share that [William] Peter Adams passed away on September 28th at the age of 82 .

Peter is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jill, his children Joanne (Ken), Michèle (Kevin), Annette (Mark), and Will (Adriana), as well as his grandchildren John, Matthew, Nathan, Anne, Marie, Adam, Aaron, Amélie, and Sofia. In England, Peter will be missed by his siblings Christine (Colin), Gareth (Angela), Glenys (Philip), and Kevin (Liz), as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends around the world.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday October 13, 2018 at St. John's Anglican Church, 99 Brock Street, Peterborough. All are welcome.