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Flowers Death Notices Flowers

Ogilvie, John R.

OGILVIE, John Robert - PhD, FCSBE, FASABE, P.Eng., P.Ag. (Dist) (1930 – 2020)

Passed peacefully at Hospice Wellington, Guelph, Ontario after a brief stay at Guelph General Hospital on Friday, March 20, 2020, in his 90th year.

John Ogilvie, of Guelph, the oldest son of Walter and Alberta (McIntosh) Ogilvie, beloved husband of the late Ethel (Dempsey) Ogilvie (2010), dear father of Robert (Tim) of Toronto, ON and David (Linda Mae) of Fergus, ON and loving grandfather of Liam Christopher and Ella Mae Elizabeth. Cherished brother to Bill (Rhona) Ogilvie of Peterborough, Jean (Jake) Blackburn of White Lake, and predeceased by Walter (Sharron) Ogilvie of Pembroke. Dearest brother-in-law David (Mimi) Dempsey of Ottawa.

To say that John was a long-life learner is an understatement. John attended High school in Ottawa, obtained his B.Sc (Agr) degree from Macdonald College (McGill University), MSA from OAC (now University of Guelph) and his PhD from Purdue University. As a professor, then head of the Department of Agricultural Engineering at Macdonald College, he received the distinguished Alumni Award and was particularly active in curriculum design and multiple research papers. He joined the faculty at the University of Guelph in 1977 as the Director of the School of Engineering until 1988, and then Professor until he retired in 1995 with the honour of University Professor Emeritus.

Since his retirement, John has been working with various groups to continue his love and dedication to his profession which has resulted in the ‘Professor John Ogilvie Engineering Bursary’ at the University of Guelph and the ‘John Ogilvie Research Innovation Award’ through the CSBE.

John’s personal and academic connections are quite numerous and span many years. He was a long-time and honoured member of many different professional associations, including the Canadian Society of Biological Engineering, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and the Ontario Association of Agrologists. John was also involved with many local groups such as Guelph-Wellington Men’s Club, Scouts Canada and the Guelph Curling Club.

Family and ancestry were important to John. He was raised with his brothers and sister on the family farm in Cyrville, now the Ogilvie Road area of Ottawa. He met his wife Ethel when the family moved into Ottawa East, where they were married in 1954. John and Ethel moved several times following John’s education and jobs. Their first son, Robert was born in Newmarket when John was working for the Government of Ontario as a Rural Extension Engineer. David was born when John was faculty at Macdonald College in the West Island of Montreal. When the family moved to Guelph, they embraced the community. John and Ethel were active members of Harcourt United Church as well extensively involved with Scouts Canada throughout the City of Guelph. John loved to follow his grandchildren and all their activities including attending the many track meets, skating shows, graduations and more. David’s family lives nearby and were often dropping in to visit him and to keep in touch. John’s life-long love of technology allowed him to keep in touch with so many people! He always embraced various growing computer developments, designing websites, and using his devices including video calls with his sister in his final few days.

The family would like to extend sincere appreciation to all the doctors, caregivers, clergy, friends and neighbours including those at the Ellington and Elliot Community, the 7th floor at Guelph General Hospital and Hospice Wellington who supported John in his struggle with Parkinson’s and his final journey.

Arrangements entrusted to the WALL-CUSTANCE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 519-822-0051 or

A small family interment will be held at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens at a later date and a Celebration of Life will be held at Harcourt United Church in the future.

For those who wish, donations in memory of John may be made to Harcourt United Church, Scouts Canada, University of Guelph or Hospice Wellington.

A tree will be planted in memory of John R. Ogilvie in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest, University of Guelph Arboretum. Dedication service, Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 2:30 pm.

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