Donald Egerton Tilley

July 06, 1925 - November 07, 2015
Donald Egerton Tilley

Donald Egerton Tilley (age 90) on November 7, 2015 at Arbour Heights in Kingston, Ontario. Son of Arthur Tilley (deceased) and Mary Fortier (deceased), brother to Harold Tilley (deceased), Joyce Baker, and Jennifer Douglas, Don is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Betty (Margaret Elizabeth Torrance), their children, Jim (Deborah Schneider), Peggy, and Peter (Carole Giesinger), grandchildren Brad (Sanna Mehlin), Jack, Scott, Sarah, and Andrew, and step-grandchildren Livy and Charlie. Don graduated from Lakefield College School in Ontario and then attended McGill University. After his first semester, he enlisted in the RCAF at age 17 and served as a flight instructor until the end of World War II. After the war, he went directly into second year at McGill and graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science, First-Class Honours in Mathematics and Physics. He stayed on at the university as a graduate student and earned a Ph.D. in nuclear physics in 1951. Don joined the Physics Department at CMR (St Jean-sur-Richelieu) as an assistant professor and rose to become full professor at age 32, then chair of the department, and ultimately Dean of Science and Engineering before being named Principal of RMC (Kingston) in 1978, a post he held until his retirement in 1984. Among his many accomplishments in education, Don published college textbooks in physics that were translated into several languages and used around the world. In 1988, having already conferred upon Don the title of Professor Emeritus, RMC awarded him the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, for which the citation reads: “… he has shown himself to be an outstanding scientist, administrator and scholar of wide interests, whose clarity of thought and expression could not mask his sense of humour and warm humanity.” He was commended as an “admired colleague… and leader of people and institutions.” A memorial service to celebrate Don’s life will be held at James Reid Funeral Home, 1900 John Counter Boulevard, Kingston, Ontario, on December 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm, reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or to the Faith United Church in Kingston.




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