Skip navigation

Tuesday December 13, 2011

CROWDIS, Donald Kennedy Crowdis

With profound sadness, we share the passing of Donald Kennedy Crowdis, who left us on November 27th, 27 days before his 98th birthday. Predeceased in January of this year by Margaret, his devoted wife of 71 years, Don was the dearly loved father of Heather Jane (Ron) Malings, Ronda MacLeod Crowdis (Liam) Keliher, and Robyn Lee (Randy) Patterson; cherished grandfather of Kate Folta, Ben, Jake and Nick Malings and great grandfather of Jamie Folta. Don was a lifelong educator through museums, schools and the mediums of radio and television. In acknowledgement of this, he was the recipient of a Science and Technology award as a 2008 Inductee into the Discovery Centre Hall of Fame in Halifax, N.S. Of this he was understandably proud. A native of Halifax and a survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion, Don received degrees in Arts, Science and Education from Dalhousie University. His teaching career began in a one-room country school of ten grades. Following stints as a school Vice-Principal in Halifax and with further studies in Educational Administration at Columbia University and the Carnegie Foundation Fellowship for Museum Studies at the Buffalo Museum of Science, he became Director of the Nova Scotia Museum of Science, a position he held for 25 years. Don wrote the Nova Scotia Museums Act and established the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Army Museum. He later served as Chief of Interpretation, Atlantic Region for Parks Canada and was Director of the Heritage Property Protection for Nova Scotia. He served as Executive Director of the Society for the Commemoration of Alexander Graham Bell and became a Professor of Museum Studies at the University College of Cape Breton. His love of science led to Don developing local and national radio and TV programs. On local CBC Radio, he wrote and hosted Let's Look with Don Crowdis for 25 years. And on national CBC-TV, he was the originator, writer and first host of The Nature of Things; and originator, writer and host of Man at the Centre. He also was originator, writer and presenter of the program Science and Society and a longtime writer and presenter of the Atlantic School Radio Broadcasts. In 1965 Don moved to Ontario to become Associate Director of the Ontario Science Centre, following which he became the Assistant Superintendent in charge of University, College and Adult Programming for the Ontario Education Communications Authority. Don was a founding member and President of the Canadian Museums Association and a founding member of the American Museums Association and Ontario Museums Association. In retirement he was active as a consultant in his fields of expertise. His blogs Don to Earth and Don to Earth Again allowed him to continue to share his vast knowledge and insights with the world. His accomplishments have been recognized with Fellowships in the Canadian Museums Association, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, followed by receipt of the Centennial Medal from the Government of Canada. In his final years, Don's favourite place to relax and refresh with his family was the Bayview Golf and Country Club. We would like to thank Jeannette and Alex and the whole staff of the Grill Room for making him feel special. He especially looked forward to lunch there every Sunday and always mentioned that he felt so fortunate to be a member of the ''Club''. Sincere and heartfelt thanks go to the staff and fellow residents of the Seniors' Health Centre for their loving care and companionship consistently shown to Don. His family considered the Seniors' Centre to be a true blessing. Lastly, the family would like to thank Dr. Quereshi, Dr. Brock and the staff of North York General Hospital 4th floor for taking such good care of Don in his final days. Dad, you will be loved and missed forever.

Back to top