In Memorium... Kirkpatrick, Herzberg, Taylor

Dr. James Balfour Kirkpatrick (1956-1976) dean emeritus of Education died November 5 at the age of 89. With his death, Saskatoon lost a great educator and a strong proponent of sport and physical fitness.

"Kirk", as he was commonly known, believed that physical fitness could not be separated from mental, moral and spiritual fitness. He dedicated much of his life to sharing his love of sports and sportsmanship with those around him.

According to his daughter, Theresa, he was able to lead by example, and that is what made him a respected athlete, coach, referee, educator and parent. His love of sport lasted throughout his life, and he played tennis and basketball into his 70s and 80s. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1991, and into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994.

Kirk earned three degrees from the U of S including a BA('29), Bed ('30) and MEd ('34). As an athlete at the U of S, he set records in high jump and shot put and was a starting member of the Huskies basketball team. From 1956 until he retired in 1976, he was Dean of Education.

He is survived by his wife Mary, and his eight children, all U of S graduates.


Gerhard Herzberg, (MSc'38, DSc(London)'76, LLD (Hon)'53), Nobel Prize-winner and former U of S professor died in Ottawa at the age of 94. Herzberg, who was known as the father of modern spectroscopy, had ties to the U of S extending back to the early 1930s.

Herzberg was born in Germany and lived his childhood in poverty. It was only through a private scholarship that he was able to earn a doctorate of engineering from Darmstadt Technical University by the age of 24.

Five years later, he married Luise, a non-practising Jew. However, when Hitler came to power, Herzberg was deemed unfit to teach because of his wife's background. Fortunately for him, he met a young chemist from the U of S named John Spinks who convinced him to come to Saskatoon.

When the political situation in Europe heated up, Spinks and university president Walter Murray used a special grant to keep Herzberg in Saskatoon. Herzberg used to tell people that he owed so much to the university and to the city for rescuing him.

Herzberg taught at the U of S for 10 years, leaving for the University of Chicago in 1945. Eight years later, the U of S gave him an honorary degree. In 1971, at the age of 67, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work specializing in free radicals.


Ruth Taylor, a longtime public school trustee and an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Saskatchewan for 25 years, died February 22 of a heart attack. She was 74.

Taylor is probably best remembered as a strong promoter of public education, and as an advocate for mentally challenged children in the classroom. Friends and colleagues describe her as a kind but tenacious woman who would throw herself into her work until she succeeded or until she could go no farther. One of her successes saw the removal of corporal punishment from the school system.

She was in her fifth consecutive term as a public school board member at the time of her death. Despite the demands of being a trustee, however, she still had time to volunteer for Meals on Wheels and was the treasurer of the Saskatoon Seniors Cultural and Creative Studies, which sponsors university classes for seniors.

She and her husband, Norman, had six children.