Born in Simcoe, Ontario on October 8, 1941, he grew up in Delhi, Ontario and attended Delhi District Secondary School. He was active in Scouting as a member of the 1st Delhi Scout Troop, providing leadership and earning the Queen Scout award in 1958. He attended McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario, earning his B.Sc, M.Sc, and, in 1968, a Ph.D. in Mathematics.
Arthur married (Hazel) Diane Osborne on June 4, 1966. They lived in Burlington while he worked on his Ph.D. and she taught high school. In 1968, they moved to Winnipeg when Arthur joined the faculty at the University of Manitoba. He taught Mathematics and published papers on classification of semigroups. He was Head of the Department of Mathematics, and later Associate Dean of the Faculty of Science, spending the rest of his professorial career teaching calculus and serving in the Dean’s office. He retired in 2008 after a career of almost 40 years.
Arthur was a sailor. From a young age he learned to sail in a row boat for which his father had spars built, and his mother sewed the sails. It was his dream and passion to sail. In 1975, Diane indulged him, and together they bought a C&C 24 they named "Abracadabra.” They took one of the first berths in the newly established Northern Harbour on Lake of the Woods near Kenora, Ontario. In 1977, they retired Abracadabra and bought C&C 27 they named “Shadowfax,” that they would sail with their family until Diane’s passing in 2017. Together they explored every ripple of the shoreline, being the first to establish many of the Lake of the Woods anchorages (and some of the reefs) that have become standard and celebrated to this day.
In 1986, Arthur and Diane purchased “The Cottage” in Sioux Narrows, Ontario. Though they did travel, this was the place they loved more than anywhere else. He and Diane, ever the welcoming hosts, loved to have friends and family to this special place. They passed this attitude of hospitality on to their sons by example - hosting their youth group at the cottage for years. As their son’s families grew, they expanded the cottage to make sure that there was always room for everyone.
Arthur was a lover of music, playing Trumpet in the University Band at McMaster, and singing in the Philharmonic Choir in Winnipeg. He volunteered with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, teaching sailing and navigation, and was awarded a Life Membership for his work. He was also involved with Northern Yacht Club in its early years, making significant contributions sailing on Lake of the Woods. In later years, he and Diane volunteered with Patient Partners in Arthritis, an organization that helps train medical students in examining, diagnosing and treating people with arthritis.
Arthur and Diane were role models of what a loving partnership can be. Married for over 50 years, they supported each other in their varied passions and activities. Arthur found great joy in enabling Diane’s many complicated schemes. He was the action by which her plans came to fruition. Life took an abrupt turn for Arthur when Diane died suddenly in 2017. With determination, and without regrets, Arthur embarked on life without his life partner. He had many adventures of his own, including fulfilling a lifelong dream of sailing on a tall ship in the Caribbean.
Deeply proud of the accomplishments of his sons and later, his daughters-in-law, Arthur’s greatest joy was watching his four grandchildren grow and flourish. He enjoyed showing them life on the water, exposing them to a vast array of music, teaching them the finer points of bread-making and chess playing, exposing them to the likes of Tolkien and Wagner, cheering them on in their endeavors, and loving them as only a grandfather can. His presence in their lives has left indelible marks on how they live and love in life. Even at the end of his cancer journey, the presence of his grandchildren at his bedside brought a smile to his face and joy to his eyes in a way nothing else could.
He will be profoundly missed by his sons Adam and David, and his daughters-in-law Kristine and Tricia; grandchildren Sophia, Jacob, Matthew and Rachel; niece Shirley and daughter Jennifer; sisters-in-law Jan (Roy) and Chris (Alan) and their families; Cindy (Sue); and numerous extended family and friends.
Sincere thanks is also extended to the caring people at the Buhler Cancer Care at the Victoria Hospital, Careica, the Grace Hospital, and Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Services for their compassion and care during Arthur’s end of life journey.
A service of celebration will be held on Friday February 7, 2020 at 11:00 am at Westminster United Church, with a reception to follow. Interment will take place in Delhi, Ontario later this spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or the Grace Hospital Foundation.
Arthur was a rare man, a deeply good man, full of dry wit, and deep wisdom, and quiet grace.
“There is nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats” - Kenneth Grahame