Home Obituaries & Death Notices RODRIGO, Russell


RODRIGO, Russell

Published:Jul 05, 2017

Event Date:Jun 05, 2017



RODRIGO, Russell (1934 - 2017) Born November 9, 1934 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, died June 5, 2017 in Vancouver at 82 years. Russell is survived by his four children Simon, Nicholas, Sally and Judith, five grandchildren Jacob, Amali, Josephine, Mac and Andrew, his brother Ryle, sister Jean, and many nieces and nephews. Russell arrived in Canada from Sri Lanka with his wife Susan (died June 2014) and son Simon in a snowstorm in 1968. He came as a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry at the University of Waterloo and went on to become full professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at WLU, and was the Wilfrid Laurier University Research Professor in 1992-93. Russell was particularly proud of the many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who trained in his lab at the University of Waterloo over many years. Russell became a proud Canadian. He learned to ski, encouraged his children to learn to skate, and loved the Canadian landscape, spending many summers camping in the rain in Canada's Provincial and National Parks, always claiming that, "it's just a passing shower." Russell's other great passion was debating politics and current affairs, usually over a few glasses of wine and beer. He will be missed by family, friends, former students and faculty members alike.


Category: Obituaries & Death Notices

Newspaper(s): Waterloo Region Record

Location: Kitchener

(2) Guest Book Messages

By Peter | JULY 22, 2017 01:14 PM
My most sincere condolences to Russell's family. I did my PhD. next door to his lab with Jim Smith and when my boss died, I finished my degree under Russell in '87. Russell was one of my favourite people in this world. He was funny, quirky and loved to talk politics as do I. I consider him one of the smartest people I have ever met and an outstanding chemist. His love of the science was always evident. He was a lovely man and many scientists owe their successful careers to his mentorship.
By Rina | JULY 16, 2017 01:28 PM
To the Rodrigo family, I want to extend my deepest condolences on the passing of Russell. I had the privilege of being Russell's PhD graduate student at University of Waterloo in the 1990s, and he was a brilliant chemist, a great humanist and personal friend. During the 5 years I spent in his lab conducting my graduate research, he was a great teacher and mentor who helped me launch my professional career as a chemist. I learned how to think strategically and with clarity on tackling challenges in science, and in life. What I'll always remember is that every conversation started and ended with a great light-hearted laugh, it was a joy to work for him. Rest in peace Russell, and god bless his family. Dr. Rina Carlini
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