Professor John Powell
April 3, 1943 - June 24, 2021
Dr. John Powell (78 years) passed away on Thursday, June 24, 2021 surrounded by family at Sunnybrook Hospital following complications from chemotherapy for colon cancer.
Beloved husband of 21 years to Ruth (nee Trumble), father to James (Sarah De Val), Mark (Diane Smylie), and Alastair (Melanie Evans), and stepfather to Karen Peesker (Kevin Peesker) and Susan Boehnke (David Andrew), and Grandad to Emma, Katie, Carla, Ethan, Jacob, Matthew, Alexandra, Dekard, and Keeler. He will be sadly missed by his brother Rodney (Margaret) and his sister Angela (Terry) in England.
Born in Sheffield, England to Jack and Maggie Powell in 1943, John was raised in the idyllic Hope Valley of the Peak District. He went on to complete a BSc and PhD in Chemistry at Leeds University (1967), where he also captained his soccer team. In 1968, he emigrated to Canada to become a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Toronto, and with his wife Christine (Ollerenshaw) raised 3 boys in Clarkson, while he taught chemistry to generations of UofT students. He also supervised research trainees in his NSERC-funded laboratory, publishing more than 100 research articles with discoveries relevant to the development of radioligands for use in Positron Emission Tomography (PET), an important medical imaging method.
John was a master gardener who cared deeply about nature and even won a City of Toronto award in the Traditional Garden category. He was a top squash player at the University of Toronto and an avid tennis player, and enjoyed hiking. He was a great cook and loved making dinner for family and friends. He also enjoyed spending time with his friends at Gabby’s pub near his home in the Kingsway in the west end of Toronto. In their retirement, John and Ruth shared a love of travelling and hiking and had great adventures around the world.
John was a quiet, calm gentleman, who had a playful side with loved ones, and a witty sense of humor. He was loved and will be missed by so many. We are all so lucky to have been part of his life and will forever cherish our memories. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Arthritis Society https://arthritis.ca/ or a charity of your choice.
Due to present restrictions a private family service will take place.