Condolences on passing of former Dean of Agriculture Faculty – Fenton MacHardy

Fenton MacHardy, beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away in Kelowna, BC on January 4, 2021. Born in Vermilion, AB on February 2, 1921, he was predeceased by his cherished wife of 72 years, Phyllis, née Gillingham, in 2019. Left to mourn their great loss are daughter Carolyn MacHardy (Ian Pooley) of Kelowna; son Greg (Kathryn) of Vernon; grandchildren Kathryn, Elizabeth and Thomas; as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.

Fenton served in the RCAF during the second world war, and then became an Agricultural Engineer. He held degrees from the University of Saskatchewan (BEng), Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (MSc), and the University of Edinburgh (PhD). He spent his academic career teaching at the University of Alberta, where he served as Dean of Agriculture from 1968 to 1976. After he completed his term as Dean, and following his retirement in 1984, he worked on numerous international development projects focussed on regions experiencing recurring famines and food shortages. He served as a member and then chairman of ICRISAT, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, headquartered in Hyderabad, India, and during his tenure, the ICRISAT Sahelian Centre in Niger was built to focus research attention on food crops in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Fenton loved music, his Highland Scots heritage, reading an eclectic range of authors, and working with his hands. Over the course of many years, he built two sailboats and two airplanes, one a ¾ scale Lysander and the other a full-scale Polykarpov. He enjoyed racing his Star sailboat on Lake Wabamun and sailing the west coast of BC with Mom in their cruising sailboat, built in their land-locked backyard in Edmonton. He loved his family dearly, and watching each of his three grandchildren grow up gave him great joy. He moved to Kelowna in October 2019 to be nearer to Carolyn and her family, and lived in nearby Orchard Manor whose wonderful staff gave him the best possible care. We are very grateful to them.

A private family service will be held in Vermilion when it is possible to travel again. If desired, donations in his name can be made to a charity of your choice or to one of three causes he was particularly attached to: the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Salvation Army, or the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

About the author(s)

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Born and raised on a mixed farm just outside of Edmonton, Brenda has experience with all kinds of poultry and has a passion for extension.