Edward Peter Jones

September 30, 2022
In loving memory ~
Edward Peter Jones, 87, passed away on September 30 at the Dartmouth General Hospital after a short illness. He is lovingly missed by his wife of 61 years Helen (née Hill), his daughter Rachel, his son Evan, his daughter-in-law Kim, his grandchildren Carson and Tessa, his brother David and wife Kay, and other family members. Peter was born in Trail BC to parents Edward Llewelyn Jones and Constance Geraldine Jones on January 17, 1935. He attended the University of British Columbia, earning a Bachelors degree in engineering in 1958 and a Ph.D. in experimental physics in 1963, working closely with his friend and mentor Myer Bloom.
Peter and Helen met in 1959 as fellow UBC students. Noting his dark hair, aquiline features, and friendships with international students, Helen initially asked him how he spelled his name, and he enjoyed slowly spelling out “P,E,T,E,R” (and then “J,O,N,E,S” when she asked about his last name). She recalls her feelings deepening when she realized Peter would never use stronger curse-words than “darn” no matter the circumstance. They were married in Vancouver BC on May 26, 1961. After a honeymoon in Hawaii, Helen and Peter spent 18 months in Tokyo (where Peter held a National Research Council post-doctoral position and Helen served as a research associate in a zoology lab at the University of Tokyo) followed by two years at Columbia University in New York City (where Peter held a second post-doc and Helen pursued doctoral studies in education). Peter joined the physics faculty at the University of Toledo (Ohio) in 1966, and he and Helen became parents with Evan’s arrival in 1971. Following Peter’s 1972-73 faculty appointment at McMaster University (Hamilton ON), he and his family moved to Dartmouth NS, when he accepted a position as a research scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. Their daughter Rachel was born in 1974.
Between 1976 and 2003, Peter participated in many scientific expeditions north of the Arctic circle, including three trips to the North Pole and numerous other research cruises around the Arctic Ocean, the Canadian Arctic archipelago, the Labrador Sea, and Baffin Bay. He participated in the first scientific voyage into the Arctic Ocean in modern times and the first modern oceanographic cross-section across a major Arctic Ocean basin, aboard the German icebreaker Polarstern in both cases; he was also on board the Canadian icebreaker Louis S. St. Laurent as part of the first scientific expedition to cross the Arctic Ocean. His research helped to advance the understanding of circulation within the Arctic Ocean Basin, as well as the sequestering of human- derived carbon dioxide, and demonstrated that the Arctic Ocean was more involved in global climate processes than previously thought.
Peter enjoyed close working relationships with many international scientists, particularly his frequent co-authors Leif Anderson, Bert Rudels, and Jim Swift, among other good friends. In recognition of his scientific contributions, he received an honorary doctoral degree from Göteborg University (Sweden) in 1994 and was appointed to the World Climate Research Programme’s Scientific Steering Group for Arctic Climate Systems Studies in 1997. His hometown declared him a “Champion of Trail” in 2009.
Peter was a loving husband, Dad, and GrandDad, and a sincere and selfless person. He treasured spending time with family and friends, including many camping trips around Nova Scotia and PEI, and a memorable cross-Canada train trip in 1986. He was an avid photographer, wielding a Hasselblad camera, curating slideshows, and sometimes developing his own photos. Peter loved having fun with his children (and later his grandchildren), reading books together, singing songs in approximate unison, and playing “I spy,” “Locked in jail,” and similar games. He was a skilled slinger of French toast for family breakfasts.
On weekend afternoons, he would often walk 1 km with one or both kids to a nearby mall for ice cream cones; a ride on his shoulders was pretty typical. He had a deep appreciation of classical music and enthusiastically supported Evan’s and Rachel’s childhood musical studies, driving them to weekend music lessons, encouraging practice, and attending performances. He served on the board of the Maritime Conservatory of Music (now the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts) and attended many productions at Neptune Theatre.
Peter fondly recalled the TR4 that he and Helen once drove across the U.S. and the Mercedes convertible in which they moved to Nova Scotia. A keen skier and golfer as a young man, he continued to enjoy watching skiing and golf on TV; he was also a committed consumer of CBC news broadcasts on TV and radio, and a fan of CBC radio’s “Quirks and Quarks.”
Arrangements for a memorial ceremony will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Peter’s family would welcome donations in his memory to the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts (https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/9819) and/or the Early Music Society of Nova Scotia (http://earlymusic.chebucto.org/).
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