Obituary of Herbert Shurvell
Herbert Francis “Gus” Shurvell, BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc
(3 September 1934 - 16 November 2022)
Curious, generous, passionate and kind, Herbert Shurvell was nicknamed Gus because he was like a gust of wind, with boundless energy and enthusiasm. Anything was achievable. His favourite saying was “the difficult takes a little time. The impossible takes a little longer.”
Gus passed away at the Cardiac unit of KGH, surrounded by his beloved family, wife of 62 years, Irene, daughter Joanne (Paul) and sons David (Laura) and Andrew (Michelle). He will also be greatly missed by his grandchildren Ellyn, Jade, Torin, baby William Gus, new great grandson Archie and by his friends all over the world.
Starting life in the North London Borough of Enfield began a lifelong passion for his Spurs. He played football at Exeter University while earning a BSc.
After emigrating to Canada in 1959 aboard a steamship, he studied Chemistry (spectroscopy) at the University of British Columbia and in Marseille, France before accepting a position at the Department of Chemistry at Queen’s University. He was a well-loved Professor of Chemistry and respected research scientist for over 30 years, with teaching awards and hundreds of publications to his name. As Professor Emeritus, Gus had a second career with Queen’s Art Conservation Department where he devoted his time to helping countless students learn valuable analytic techniques which guided them to careers around the world and in 2016 was awarded a prestigious Honorary Membership in the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC). He is the only Canadian to have ever received this award, which recognized the great extent to which his commitment to art conservation advanced the field and how much he touched the lives of students.
Outside his academic achievements which included President of Spectroscopy Society of Canada and Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, he was awarded the Ontario Bicentennial Medal in 1984 by Premier Davis for his instrumental work planning, acquisition and development of Lemoine Point Conservation Area, part of the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority.
An oak tree will be planted next spring with a celebration of Gus’s life. Donations in his name to BlueCheck Ukraine https://www.bluecheck.in/ or the Red Cross are appreciated.