Development & Alumni Relations Office 


Thomas Desmond Wilson, BSc (died 18 April 2021, aged 74)


Obituary taken from the Vancouver Sun and can be read online at Thomas WILSON Obituary (1946 - 2021) - Toronto, ON - The Globe and Mail (


A beautiful Irish light went out suddenly when Des Wilson died of an apparent heart attack early Sunday morning on April 18, 2021.


Thomas Desmond Wilson was born, shortly after his twin brother Alan, in Belfast Northern Ireland on June 20, 1946, sons of Tom and Allison Wilson. Des went on to graduate with a BSc (Honours) in Geology from Queen's University Belfast in 1969 and then immigrated to Canada. He came to Hendrix Lake, BC to work for Noranda Mines as the Resident Mine Geologist. In 1971, Des moved to New Westminster to teach Geology at Douglas College where he taught for 25 years before becoming Chair of the Science and Mathematics Department in 1995. He was a dedicated educator.


Before becoming Chair, Des served as president of the Faculty Association (DCFA) and was instrumental in a transformative change to the hiring process which created a much fairer and more efficient path to job stability through regularization. In 1996 Des became Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology at Douglas College and won several program innovation awards in recognition of leadership in program development. He was a fair, warm, caring and effective leader.


Des loved woodworking, built a cedar strip canoe he loved paddling, and joined the Greater Vancouver Woodturners Guild (GVWG) when we moved to Belcarra. He thoroughly enjoyed all the many activities made possible through the GVWG. As with every group Des joined, he was an active member. And he made many beautiful pieces of wood art. He was always a committed supporter of the arts, and cared deeply about social justice and his community.


He was a compassionate and caring father. Des was a wonderfully kind warm man who made every occasion more fun with his infectious Irish humour. His life journey was a masterpiece and he did make a difference. He was a delight with whom to share a life.


Left to mourn are his wife Adrienne, his daughter Hilary, his brother Alan and wife Maureen, his Uncle Alan and Aunt Mary, his brother-in-law Jeffrey and wife Kenda, his brother-in-law Stuart and wife Catherine, his cousins, his many nieces and nephews, and his many, many friends.


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