Catholic 03

Reverend Dr. Elizabeth Rowlinson

May 22, 1930 ~ March 17, 2020 (age 89)


Reverend Dr. Elizabeth Rowlinson, B.A, B.Sc, M.A.,Ph.D, D.D. Priest, academic, beloved wife to Hugh, mother to Matthew, Andrew and Mark, mother in law to Sasha, Estelle and Gail, grandmother to Tom (Aditi) and Leah, and sister to Josephine Cowey of Aberdeen, Scotland. Born May 22,1930, died March 17, 2020. Daughter of Charles and Mary (Maude) Hunter of Sutton, Surrey, U.K.  Educated at Wallington County School for Girls, earned a scholarship to St. Hugh’s College, Oxford 1948, read Mathematics, B.A. 1951, B.Sc. 1953, and began work on her Ph.D.  Elizabeth married Hugh Rowlinson in 1953;  they left for Evanston, Ill. the same year, and thence moved to Ottawa 1954-5.  While in Ottawa she worked for the Defence Research Board (DRB).  Elizabeth and Hugh moved to Mont. St. Hilaire, Quebec in 1956 and raised their sons.   However, Elizabeth missed academic work and returned to McGill University to complete her Ph.D. in 1965. That year she joined the Mathematics Department as a Faculty Lecturer; she became an Assistant Professor in 1969, and was appointed McGill’s first Associate Dean of Students in 1970. She and Hugh moved to Toronto in 1978 where Elizabeth served as Dean of St Hilda's College and Dean of Women at Trinity College, and as a senior tutor in the Department of Mathematics.  She is remembered for her warmth and connection to her students, and she was a role model for generations of women who knew her at Trinity College and McGill University.


Upon her retirement from the University of Toronto, Elizabeth decided to crown a lifelong faith in the Anglican Church by working towards Holy Orders.  She returned to Montreal in 1991, and was ordained into the Anglican priesthood in 1993.  She was Associate Chaplain at McGill University from 1993 to 2005 and Chaplain at the Diocesan Theological College (1994-2014). McGill awarded Elizabeth an Honorary Doctor of Divinity for her work.


In all her work Elizabeth was a loving soul, particularly to young people.  She loved music, playing the violin and singing in many choirs.  Her publications included Subgroups of Finite Groups, (translated from the Russian and edited) and A Fair Shake Revisited, a coedited collection of essays on the history of women at McGill. She was fond of mountain walking, travel and a little sailing.  In the current circumstances there will only be a private funeral, but a public celebration of Elizabeth’s life is planned for a later date. 


The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at both the Leacock Retirement Lodge and the Leacock Care Centre for the care and assistance they provided to Elizabeth.


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