Norman Reed Paterson passed away peacefully with his children and companion by his side on December 22nd, 2022, at the age of 96.
Norman was predeceased by Sally, his loving wife of almost 68 years, and is survived by his devoted children, Catherine (Peter, recently deceased), John (Maureen), Michael (Lorie), and Norman (Lillian); adoring grandchildren, Reed (Matthew), Alex (Heather), David (Amy), Kathleen (Mike), Sam (Stephanie), Katie (Shane) and Denzil (Anna); and great-grandchildren, Eowyn, Quinn, Mackenzie, Savannah, Alice, Ivy, Claragh, Dorothy, Thomas, Norah, Elly, and Audrey; and many nieces and nephews.
Norman was the second son of Dr. Donald and Dorothy Paterson, who moved from Canada to England where Dr. Paterson became a pioneering pediatrician. Norman was born in London, England in 1926. His late brothers were Hugh, Chris and Blair. In 1939, Dorothy took Norman and his brothers back to Canada to escape the war, where Norman and Hugh attended Trinity College School. In 1943, at age 17, Norman, too young to enlist in Canada, returned to England with Hugh to join the military. They returned to Canada in 1947 to attend the University of Toronto (U of T).
It was while taking engineering at U of T that Norman met Sally (nee Broughall), and the two were married in 1950. They moved to Vancouver, where Norman received a Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia. They subsequently returned to Toronto, where Norman obtained his Doctorate in geophysics.
Norman pursued a lifetime of work in his chosen field of geophysics, and, in 1970, he started his own consulting business, Norman Paterson and Associates. Later, he merged his company with the consulting practices of Fraser Grant and Roger Watson to form Paterson, Grant & Watson (PGW), where he became known worldwide for his innovations in geophysical technology and skilled practice of geophysical techniques and interpretation.
Under Norman’s presidency, PGW grew to become one of the largest mining exploration geophysical consulting companies in the world, with commensurate recognition. In 1988, PGW’s software division became Geosoft, Inc. (now Bentley Systems), which holds a global position in mining geophysical software development and sales. PGW put Canada on the map as a center of excellence in geophysics.
In 1997 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, citing his work in the geological interpretation of magnetic surveys. Norman was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 1999 and was described as being “praised the world over for the sound balance he achieved between the practical, applied science of geophysics, and his professionalism and integrity. No matter where in the world his assignments took him, he always served as an excellent ambassador for the Canadian mining industry.”
Norman and Sally raised their children in Toronto, and later travelled to many parts of the world for work and pleasure. They enjoyed outdoor recreation and kept different sailboats over the years at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, where they loved cruising, racing, and socializing with their many friends. In 1989, they bought a 100-year-old farmhouse with 50 acres of land, and later moved into “Eastview Farm” overlooking the Beaver Valley. Norman and Sally loved entertaining, gardening, playing tennis, and swimming in their pool during the summers, and skiing, snowshoeing, or spending time at their cottage in Costa Rica during the winter. They later built a home in Thornbury, where they lived until Sally’s passing in 2018. Later, Norman became companions with novelist Dorris Heffron and moved into her lovely home, back in the Beaver Valley, where they happily spent his final years.
Norman was an avid watercolour painter and prolific writer, publishing books both technical and fictional. In his nineties, his most important book, Mining Geophysics: A Canadian Story, was published by the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. He also wrote three thoughtful, entertaining mystery novels and recently, was working on a short book for lay readers titled Climate Change Explained. Norman wrote many letters which were published in The Globe and Mail suggesting better ways the world might be run.
He lived a long and full life, and will be missed by countless friends, colleagues, and loving family. A memorial service of Norman’s life will take place at the St. George’s Anglican Church in Clarksburg, Ontario, on February 11th, 2023 at 1 o’clock., with a reception following. As your expression of sympathy, donations to the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital would be appreciated and may be made through the Ferguson Funeral Home, 48 Boucher St. E., Meaford, ON N4L 1B9 to whom arrangements have been entrusted. www.fergusonfuneralhomes.ca
St. George’s Anglican Church Clarksburg