Paul Henri LeBlond
December 30, 1938 - February 8, 2020
Surrounded by his family, Paul passed away peacefully at home at the age of 81, after a lengthy illness.
Paul was born in Quebec City and grew up in Chicoutimi. His innate curiosity and love of learning led him naturally into science, earning his undergraduate degrees at Laval and McGill Universities.
In 1963 he married Josee Michaud and together they moved to British Columbia, where they raised three children. Paul gained his doctoral degree at the University of British Columbia, which led to joint appointments in both the Physics and Oceanography Departments, from 1965-1996, and since 1996 as a Professor Emeritus.
He became a well-known and much-consulted expert in ocean dynamics specializing in waves, tides, tsunamis and beach formations. In 1978 he co-authored an important textbook "Waves in the Ocean" with Lawrence Mysak.
During his career he was honoured with many awards including: President Prize, Canadian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society (CMOS); CMOS Tully Medal; Fellow of CMOS; Honorary Doctorate in Science, Memorial University; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Science; and Wooster Award, North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES).
Paul made major contributions to many other scientific organizations as well, including:
World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE); Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (PFRCC); Canadian Ocean Frontiers Research Initiative (COFRI); the Ocean Production Enhancement Network (OPEN); and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).
Paul traveled extensively for his work, and learned languages as he went. He was fully fluent in French and English, and spoke German, Russian and Spanish.
As a dynamic teacher and researcher, he was an inspiration to his students for over 30 years. His friendly, easy going but authoritative style of teaching was admired by all. He loved his students and treated them with much respect, often saying that he learned as much from them as they did from him.
Paul's love of science and discovery led him to investigate sightings of unidentified marine mammals such as Cadborosaurus seen many times in the local waters of the Salish Sea. This passion led him to co-found the International Society of Cryptozoology and the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club (BCSCC). He co-authored and published two books, "Cadborosaurus: Survivor of the Deep" (with Ed Bousfield) and "Discovering Cadborosaurus" (with John Kirk and Jason Walton). He also translated several books on the subject.
A few years after his first marriage ended he met artist Annette Shaw. They spent a sabbatical year in France, enjoyed traveling and exploring the world. In 1990 they moved to Galiano Island where Paul became an active member of the community and local organizations including the Museum Society, Trails Society, Parks and Recreation, Galiano Island Recycling Resources, Tour des Iles, the CRD, the Economic Development Committee and Transportation Committee, to name a few.
Galiano Island was the perfect place for Paul to retire and continue enjoying his love of the ocean and the outdoors, camping, swimming, hiking, trail building, chopping wood, reading and always learning something new.
Throughout his life, he exemplified generosity, kindness and a love of learning. He expressed his zest for life in all he did, and inspired those who met and worked with him.
Paul was predeceased by his parents: Sylvio and Jeanne, and will be lovingly remembered by his wife Annette; his children: Michel, Philippe and Anne (Fred Delgiglio); step-daughter: Jenny Breukelman; grandchildren: Mikayla, Nina, Cody and Tia; his brother: Pierre (Michele); his nephew and nieces; and his former wife Josee (Boyd).
The family is profoundly grateful to Dr. Erin Carlson and her medical team for their great care and compassion. Memorial donations can be made in Paul name to the Galiano Health Care Society, 908 Burrill Rd, Galiano Island, V0N 1P0, by cheque, or online at www.galianohealth.org