[Syrphidae] Re: Dick Vockeroth's passing

Pierre MILLE mille_pierre at yahoo.fr
Tue Nov 20 16:53:06 GMT 2012

Hello Jeff
I saw this information is unfortunately very sad http://www.diptera.info/news.php?readmore=177 to his family.
His scientific work was important in the study of Diptera. 
My condolences 




Pierre MILLE 
3 avenue des buttes blanches
95220 Herblay - France

>De : Jeff Skevington <jhskevington at gmail.com>
>À : syrphidae at lists.nottingham.ac.uk 
>Envoyé le : Samedi 17 novembre 2012 2h52
>Objet : [Syrphidae] Dick Vockeroth's passing
>Richard (Dick) Vockeroth, 2 May 1928 to 16 November 2012
>    The Diptera community suffered a great loss today. Dick Vockeroth
>passed away on the morning of November 16th 2012, at the age of 84.
>Almost everyone who studies flies knew Dick, and most of us have some
>hilarious Vockeroth stories that will undoubtedly continue on for
>several generations. His breadth of knowledge was unsurpassed and many
>of us owe him considerably as a mentor. He always amazed us by seeming
>to know something about virtually every fly species put in front of
>him. Of course, putting a fly in front of Dick was just the excuse to
>open the floodgates. For those who could concentrate for long enough,
>his stories always had a point. They could continue for a long time,
>but they always wound back to where they started, completing another
>lesson for those willing to listen. If only we had a way to save all
>of his immense knowledge. Fortunately, he was always willing to share.
>He published 120 papers on 27 families of flies over his career. His
>unpublished manuscripts and keys also fill many boxes in our
>collection. Copies of many of these are spread around the world with
>Dick’s colleagues and will ultimately be incorporated and published as
>part of new studies. In addition to giving freely of his scientific
>knowledge, Dick was a true philanthropist. He seemed to donate
>virtually every penny that he had to anyone who stopped at his door or
>called. He was incredibly frugal with his own purchases and we all
>benefitted/endured from his purchases of cheap (or free) produce and
>bread that often had seen better days. His immune system seemed to
>enjoy these nutritional challenges although ours were perhaps not
>always up to it. We recall a few years ago when Dick had the first
>cold that he could remember having since he was a child, as well as
>the first headache in his life a year or two later. Diabetes was his
>primary health challenge and it was a significant one in his later
>life. It was likely a contributing factor to the Alzheimer'sthat
>eroded his mind over the last three years.
>The following is excerpted from: Cumming, J.M., Sinclair, B.J.,
>Brooks, S.E., O’Hara, J.E. and Skevington, J.H. 2012. The history of
>dipterology at the Canadian National Collection of Insects, with
>special reference to the Manual of Nearctic Diptera. The Canadian
>Entomologist 143: 539-577. This paper is the introduction to a three
>volume Festschrift in The Canadian Entomologist honouring Dick and the
>other coordinators of the Manual of Nearctic Diptera. Picking through
>these papers, you will find some classic stories about Dick and expand
>your impression of the impact that he played in the Diptera community
>over the last 60 plus years.
>    Dick was born on May 2nd 1928 in Broderick, Saskatchewan. He
>received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Saskatchewan in
>Saskatoon in 1948 and 1949, respectively, and his D.Phil. on the
>genera of Scathophagidae from Oxford University in 1954. He officially
>joined the Canadian National Collection of Insects (CNC) Diptera Unit
>in 1949. Dick retired in 1991, but contributed broadly to Diptera
>activities at the CNC as an Honorary Research Associate until 2009. He
>became a world expert on several families, particularly Mycetophilidae
>s.l., Dolichopodidae, Syrphidae, Scathophagidae, and Muscidae. He was
>an avid collector and contributed over 220,000 pinned Diptera to the
>CNC. Dick authored or co-authored 120 scientific publications,
>including 12 chapters in the Manual of Nearctic Diptera. He has
>published 173 new Diptera taxa (1 family group name, 42 genus-group
>names, and 130 species-group names). Dick was awarded the C.P.
>Alexander Award in 1997 by the North American Dipterists’ Society.
>This lifetime award, which can only be held by a single dipterist at a
>time, publicly acknowledges the most important and influential member
>of the North American Dipterists’ Society. The Award reads, ‘‘John
>Richard Vockeroth is recognized as our most knowledgeable dipterist,
>and for his critical and unique contributions in expanding our
>knowledge of flies, especially flower flies, educating and encouraging
>a cadre of world leaders for Systematic Dipterology’’. Sadly, as of
>today, this award is now available to be given to someone else.
>    Evidence of the respect of Dick’s scientific achievements can be
>seen in the ninety-one patronyms that have been attributed to him by
>the entomological community
>This list will no doubt continue to grow as his collections live on
>and support new research on the flies that Dick was so passionate
>about. We have all missed his antics and contributions in the lab
>since he left in 2009. Let’s hope that we can all leave even a
>fraction of the lasting legacy and legends that Dick has left behind.
>    For those in our area, the funeral will be Wednesday 21 November
>at the Hulse, Playfair & McGarry Chapel at 315 McLeod Street in
>Ottawa. More details will be provided in the Ottawa Citizen tomorrow.
>    If you wish to make a donation in Dick’s name, he would no doubt
>be honoured if it went to the Canacoll Foundation (www.canacoll.org),
>which supports improvements to the CNC by visiting specialists.
>Cheques made out to the Canacoll Foundation can be sent to the
>treasurer, Andrew Bennett, at the K.W. Neatby Building, 960 Carling
>Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0C6, Canada. Tax receipts will be issued.
>Jeff Skevington, Research Scientist
>Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes
>Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
>960 Carling Avenue, K.W. Neatby Building
>Ottawa, ON, K1A 0C6, Canada
>Phone: 613-759-1647
>FAX: 613-759-1927
>E-mail: jhskevington at gmail.com
>Syrphidae mailing list
>Syrphidae at lists.nottingham.ac.uk
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