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Richard Rempel

(Saskatchewan & Worcester 1959) (26 November 1934 - 12 December 2023)

Dr Rempel was an accomplished historian, both as a scholar and as a teacher at all levels, of thousands of first year undergraduates, scores of Master's students and over thirty successful Doctoral candidates.

Dr. Rempel attended the University of Saskatchewan after two years working in northern Alberta. He graduated with great distinction and with a double major in Economics and History in 1959, and as a Rhodes Scholar in history. While doing a doctorate in Modern British History at Oxford he met Ann Whyte who was finishing her nursing after spending two years in a repertory company after coming from India where she had spent her childhood. Among other pursuits, they enjoyed a mutual interest in theatre and in East Indian history. They married in late 1961.

He taught at the University of South Carolina from 1964 to 1975. In 1975 Dick and his family returned to Canada where he taught Modern British history and Western Civilization courses at McMaster University for many years. While he enjoyed his teaching of thousands of undergraduates, he especially flourished in supervising many PhD candidates, some eighteen doctoral students all of whom, after graduation, successfully took up academic positions in various universities in Canada and elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

Dr. Rempel was also instrumental in helping to establish the huge Bertrand Russell Editorial Project at McMaster and co-edited five of the volumes of Russell’s papers on liberalism, guild socialism, women’s suffrage, and his antiwar activities from 1914 through 1918, as well as Russell’s firsthand critique of Bolshevism in 1920. Dick was proud of the Graduate Teaching Award created in his name at McMaster University and equally prized his teaching award he received earlier at the University of South Carolina.

After his retirement in 2000, Dick returned to his roots by writing articles about Saskatoon and, especially, the University of Saskatchewan. On many of these research trips, Dick was accompanied by his wife and recently by their son, Robert. In 2013 Dick published a biography through McGill-Queen’s University Press of a former President of that University, Dr. W. P. Thompson, who had been the first geneticist in Canada and a founder of Medicare in Saskatchewan in 1962.