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Saturday January 26, 2013

John Basil Bancroft:
B.A., Ph.D, FRSC John B Bancroft passed away peacefully in the early hours of Tuesday January 22, 2013 in his 84th year
John was born on December 31, 1929 in Vancouver, B. C. He attended Lord Byng High School where he played rugby, and graduated from U.B. C. in 1952. He won a fellowship to the University of Wisconsin, graduating with a Ph.D. in 1955 before joining the faculty of Purdue University. He married Mary Ross in 1954. John and Mary moved from Madison, Wisconsin to Lafayette, Indiana in 1955 where they lived for 16 years and had 4 children, Leslie, Ian, Graham and Jane. While at Purdue, John received a National Science Foundation senior postdoctoral fellowship to work at the Virus Research Laboratory in Cambridge, England. It was an enjoyable year for the family and professionally rewarding for John, culminating in the first reconstruction of a spherical virus. During this time, John received various awards including the Ruth Allen Award and McCoy Award. In 1970, Dr. Bancroft was asked to establish a Virus Research Department at the John Innes Institute, which had recently moved to Norwich, Norfolk. Three years after the department was established, John and Mary decided to return to North America to launch their family and John, first as a professor then as the Dean of Science finished his professional career at the University of Western Ontario. John received an honorary doctorate from Purdue as well as becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He published and edited widely. On retirement his friends and colleagues from the University created the J.B. Bancroft Science Prize and Medal. John and Mary were always actively engaged with their children and grandchildren (Sarah, Daniel, Christine, Mark and Kate), along with their daughters-in-law Melanie and Mimi. John will be also missed by sisters-in-law Aileen Walker, Sheila Ross; brother-in-law Robert Ross, and nephew Ted Bancroft - all from Vancouver.
A Celebration of his Life will be held at the James A. Harris Funeral Home, 220 St. James St. at Richmond, London, on Thursday, January 31 at 2:00 p.m. Reception to follow at the funeral home. Remembrances may be made to Alzheimer Outreach Services of McCormick Home Foundation or Parkwood Hospital, care of St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation. (

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