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Obituary of Professor Emeritus Raymond L. Legge
It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of Dr. Raymond Louis Legge, beloved husband of Troy Nowe on April 15th, 2023, at the age of 68. His chapter ended peacefully, surrounded by the things he loved, listening to his favourite piece of music with a smile on his face; while holding Troy's loving hand.
Ray was born in Calgary, Alberta on June 9, 1954. He was predeceased by his parents: Harold Legge and Eva (nee: Mattia) Legge. Also predeceased by his brother Gordon Legge and nephew Brendan O’Shea. He is survived by his sister-in-law Laurie Legge and nephews Jay, Rob (Kerri) and Craig. As well as Corrine. Cousins Buck (Patsy), Vera (Barry), Karen, Doreen (Ken), Janet (Harold), Roxanne (Tony) and stepmother Vi. Also survived by in-laws Betty and Blayne Nowe, Derrick, Leanne, and Jade Nowe.
Ray graduated from the University of Calgary (BSc (HON), 1975) and the University of Waterloo (PhD, 1983). Prior to starting his PhD he worked as a Jr. Research Officer at AECL in Pinawa, Man. It was there that the genesis of his idea of the role of free radicals in plant senescence germinated serving as the basis of his doctoral thesis for which he received the UW Alumni Gold Medal. He did his postdoctoral studies under the auspices of a NATO Science Fellowship at the University of Texas (Austin), returning to the University of Waterloo, Dept. of Chemical Engineering as an NSERC University Research Fellow and Assistant Professor in 1985 where he spent the duration of his career conducting research in the field of biotechnology and biochemical engineering. He pioneered with colleagues the use of chemometric methods to analyze spectroscopic data for use in bioprocess monitoring, control, and modelling. He attained the status of Full Professor in 2000 holding cross-appointments to the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Biology as well as several adjunct appointments to other universities in Canada and Europe. During his professional career he served in numerous administrative roles including Director, Biotechnology Research Center; Associate Chair of Graduate Studies; Associate Dean Engineering Graduate Studies and International Agreements; Associate Dean Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs and Assistant Vice-President Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs. Although his first love was research, he loved teaching and during his career taught over 7000 undergraduate and graduate students. He was the recipient of numerous accolades but was most proud of having received the Sandford Fleming Foundation Faculty of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award on two occasions. During his career he authored more than 375 refereed publications and conference proceedings along with 13 book chapters and review articles. He consulted both for the private and public sectors in areas related to environmental engineering, environmental sustainability issues and bioprocess development and evaluation. He served as a board member and editor for a variety of organizations and journals.
Raised by a single mother, Ray learned at an early age to be frugal. He had a passion for cars in which he took great pride. His list of other interests was broad including gardening, cooking, reading, music (playing piano, singing, and listening to opera and classical music) and travel. He attributed his interests in gardening and cooking to his grandmother Louisa and his Mom. He could putter for hours amongst his plants and flowers, or in the driveway detailing his car while enjoying chats with his dear neighbours. Or pouring over his collection of cookbooks and family recipes looking for the perfect dish to create. Ray met Troy, who he referred to as his living angel and partner in 2004. They married on Oct. 5, 2019. Their life together was filled with cats, food, family, chosen family, friends, international travel, lots of laughter and their mutual love for Nova Scotia. Ray lived in land locked Waterloo; but he always heard the call of the Bay of Fundy. The day’s highlight in the Annapolis Valley was to enjoy a lobster boil and blueberry grunt with Troy’s Maritime family, who embraced him so lovingly from day one.
Ray wanted to express his gratitude to all his family and friends who supported him (and Troy) throughout his journey. A special thank you to the entire Grand River Regional Cancer Centre, and their amazing team (led by Dr. Molckovsky). Also thank you to Dr. Taylor for being there, and to nurse Courtney for being a smiling face and voice of comfort from day one.
Ray never took life for granted, and although he left us far too soon, he lived it fully with a zest for life-long learning and loved deeply. His smile and heart lit up a room like a drop of golden sun…and now its shining on all who knew and loved him.
Visitation will be held at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo on Tuesday May 2, 2023, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. The Memorial Service will take place in the chapel of the funeral home on Wednesday May 3, 2023, beginning at 2:00 p.m. with an hour of visiting prior.
As an expression of sympathy, condolences for the family and memorial donations may be made to the “Raymond L. Legge Chemical Engineering Pride Scholarship” at the University of Waterloo https://imodules.uwaterloo.ca/RaymondLegge. This scholarship is aimed at helping exceptional chemical engineering undergraduates who contribute to the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
To view Raymond's livestreamed service, please use the link HERE