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May 10, 2022

Dr. Peter Robert Norton of Bruce Beach, died May 10, 2022, in Victoria Hospital, London, at the age of 79. Survived by his wife of 57 years, Gillian; his son, Michael; and daughter, Kathy; his granddaughters, Erica, Naomi, and Emma; and his sister, Juliet. Peter was born in a small village in war-time England, to parents Robert and Ruth Norton. He attended the University of Nottingham and obtained a B.Sc. in 1963 and a PhD in Chemistry in 1966. He and Gillian travelled to Ottawa in 1967, intending to spend just two years there to further his research career. They both fell in love with life in Canada and lived in Ontario for the next 55 years. His research career took him from the National Research Council in Ottawa, to McMaster University in Hamilton, to Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories, and finally, to Western University in London where he was a professor and research scientist from 1986 until his retirement in 2011. His scientific career was important to him, and he took rightful pride in the recognition bestowed on him by the likes of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Institute of Chemistry. His real passion, however, was mentoring students and young professionals, and he drew great pleasure from watching their success. In 1991, he and his wife bought an old wooden cottage at Bruce Beach near Kincardine, on the waterfront of Lake Huron. In 2000, they built a house on the site and then retired there. The Bruce Beach house was truly his happy place and he loved walking the beach and the wonderful views of the lake and sunsets from the deck, preferably with a drink in hand and surrounded by the company of family and friends. Peter embraced Canadian winters and loved skiing and snowshoeing on the Niagara Escarpment in the Collingwood area. At home, he loved classical music, especially chamber music. His music collection evolved from vinyl to CDs to streaming, and he attended live concerts, whenever possible. He had a passion for sports, particularly soccer and F1 Racing, and he still followed the FA cup and UEFA Champions league from England. He was intensely proud of his two children and their accomplishments, and delighted in his three granddaughters who live in Edmonton and Vancouver. He made the most out of every visit and followed their exploits. Peter was cultured, intelligent, curious, and kind. He was a great storyteller and raconteur, and could entertain friends and strangers, alike, with humorous anecdotes and explanations of scientific phenomena. He loved good food, good drink, and good conversation. Astronomy was another passion of his, and sometimes, an evening’s entertainment ended with stargazing over the lake through his telescope. Peter was a big personality who made an impression on every room he entered. He will be greatly missed. No service is planned at this time. A celebration of his life may be arranged in the future; arrangements entrusted to Cremation London & Middlesex, 519-858-2467. On-line condolences shared at