Douglas Hector

Date of death:
Tuesday February 20, 2018

The Calgary Herald, AB

Norrie, Dr. Douglas Hector December 4, 1929 - Wellington, New Zealand February 20, 2018 - Calgary, Alberta Dr. Douglas Norrie, Professor Emeritus of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, beloved husband of Beatrice Irene Norrie (nee Duckworth), of Calgary, AB, peacefully passed away with most of his family by his side, on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at the age of 88 years. Douglas grew up in tiny isolated Maori settlements along the Wanganui River in New Zealand. As a young man, he studied Engineering at Christchurch University, where he met his beloved wife Beatrice. The young couple moved to England, where he took up a position with the world's then-leader in aeronautic engineering, Rolls Royce. After their first child Janice was born, they immigrated to Australia, where Douglas earned his Ph. D. In Marine Engineering and joined the University of Adelaide as a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering. His three sons, Paul, John and Andrew, were born in Australia. In 1966, the family made a life move from Australia to Calgary, where Douglas, 37, was appointed the Founding Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at The University of Calgary. During his long and distinguished career at the university, he served as the first President of The University of Calgary Faculty Association (TUCFA); inaugural Dean of the innovative Division of Information Services; founding Head of the Division of Manufacturing Engineering; Adjunct Professor of Computer Science; Chair of the Task Force on the Future of the Library; and the Nortel Chair in Intelligent Manufacturing. He was awarded the Killam Research Fellowship and the Institute of Computer Assisted Learning Fellowship. He was also heavily involved in two major international research consortia in intelligent manufacturing systems. In his later career, his interests focused on artificial intelligence and the effects of technology on society. He was honoured for Outstanding Achievement in Education and received both a Research Excellence Award (Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering) and a Distinguished Lifetime Leadership Award (Faculty of Engineering). Douglas was an enormous inspiration to his students and colleagues, and he will forever be a legend in the Faculty of Engineering. Always passionate about anything related to flight, Douglas never really retired, and he took up flying after leaving the university at the age of 72. He earned his commercial pilot's licence, built two ultra-light airplanes (one in the garage, to his wife's chagrin) and spent any free moments joyfully flying over the fields of Alberta and in the Philippines. Douglas's first priority, however, was always his family, whom he cherished. When the children were young, he took them hiking, skiing, camping and scuba diving. Later, when the children married, moved away from Calgary and had children of their own, he brought everyone together each year for weeks-long family vacations in Fairmont and Cabo San Lucas. A deep thinker, Douglas was a very kind, compassionate and spiritual man who inspired affection. He was happiest in the mountains or soaring in the sky. And he always put his family's interests ahead of his own. His passing leaves a huge ache in the hearts of his family and those who knew him well, and he will be remembered always with love. A few years ago, Douglas wrote: I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to have lived and to have experienced so much - that alone is the greatest privilege of all. Douglas is survived by his loving wife Beatrice; his children Janice (George), Paul, John (Jenny) and Andrew (Andrea); his grandchildren Alex, Christian, Nicholas and Mitchell; his brothers Ray and Ian (and wives); and many cousins, nephews, nieces and extended family members. A celebration of Douglas's life will be held at McInnis & Holloway (Crowfoot, 82 Crowfoot Circle N. W., Calgary, AB), on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Reception to follow at the funeral home. Condolences may be forwarded through If friends desire, memorial tributes may be made in lieu of flowers to The Mustard Seed ( In living memory of Douglas Norrie, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park. Funeral Home McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes - Crowfoot Chapel 82 Crowfoot Circle N. W. Calgary, AB T3G 2T3 (403) 241-0044 Published in The Calgary Herald on Feb. 23, 2018

Other obituaries from : The Calgary Herald, AB

Other obituaries from : Calgary