With his wife at his side Ed passed away on June 6that the Oak Bay Kiwanis Pavilion, Victoria, BC.
Ed was born in Sarnia, Ontario, the youngest child of George and Alma Capes. He earned a B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Toronto University in 1961, followed by a Ph.D in fine particle technology at Churchill College, Cambridge University, England. At Cambridge he met and married his wife, Jennifer, and returned to Canada in 1964 to join the National Research Council in their Chemical Engineering section, which he later headed as director.
Ed turned the original disparate interests of some excellent engineers into a real powerhouse of research and development in the field of Process Technology. This was a time of growing awareness of environmental concerns and the birth of meaningful responses to improving the planet’s health. Ed was a keen environmentalist in today’s terms. He assembled very effective programs covering the field of gas and liquid separations using membranes, combustion emissions controls, treatment of particulate wastes, and chemical destruction of toxic wastes. All of environmental relevance currently. As recently as 1998, Ed was a member of the “Technology Table – National Implementation Plan on Climate Change.”
The Chemical Engineering program at NRC under Ed gelled superbly and excellent results flowed from it particularly as many activities were carried out in cooperation with primarily Canadian corporations, so practical use of the inventions was made much more likely. This was an impressive outcome and at the end of his career with NRC Ed was responsible as director general for the whole NRC Division which he joined so long ago as a fresh Cambridge grad.
In describing Ed’s studies at Cambridge there was no explanation of exactly what was meant by the term “fine particle technology.” In Ed’s case it entailed processes to make initially small entities grow in size and thereby enhance their applicability and value in process engineering. Ed’s focus in later life applied the same concepts to organizing and delivering effective research and development work environments. He garnered a large portfolio of patents and publications. He was also active in professional societies and became President of the Chemical Institute of Canada.
Ed retired from NRC in 2001 as Director General of the Institute of Chemical Processing and Environmental Technology, and Interim Director General of NRC’s Innovation Centre in Vancouver.
Ed enjoyed music especially symphony concerts with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony. He liked foreign travel, gardening and working on building projects around the house. He was an excellent cook and very interested in history, especially military history.
Ed was a dearly loved and loving husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by Jennifer, his wife of 56 years, his son Michael, daughter Sarah, his son-in-law and three grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Louise Capes, his nephew and five nieces. He was preceded in death by his sisters Maida Walker and Madeline Ellis, his brother Milton Capes, his niece, Carole Dyck and nephew, Paul Capes.
Grateful thanks are extended to Dr. Timothy Troughton and the kind, compassionate staff of the Oak Bay Kiwanis Pavilion and of Luther Court for their care of Ed in the final year of his life.
A funeral service for Ed will be held at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Road, Victoria BC at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday July 17th. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made online to the Oak Bay Kiwanis Pavilion Foundation or the Alzheimer Society of B.C.
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