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BUBAR, John Stephen, Ph.D.
1929 - 2014
Dr. John Stephen Bubar, 84, passed away peacefully in Truro, Nova Scotia, on April 1, 2014. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 53 years, Margaret Helen (nee Dickson), in 2008. John is survived by his two children, Donald Stephen Bubar (Marcia Mazurski) of Markham, Ontario and Carol Jean Bubar (Richard Brown), of Red Deer, Alberta; one brother, Robert Bubar (Shirley) of Bowmanville, Ontario; and two grandchildren, Andrew Bubar and Peter Bubar, both presently residing in North Bay, Ontario. John was born on September 13, 1929 in Hartland, New Brunswick. He was the first of three sons born to Charles Humphrey Bubar and Ida Margaret (Peggy) Pratt. Sadly, Peggy passed away in 1931 shortly after giving birth to John's twin brothers, Richard and Robert. John was subsequently raised by his grandfather, Robert Pratt, and later by his aunts and uncles who lived in the Hartland area, including Tom and Rhoda Pratt, and Richard and Martha Pratt. John grew up on farms near Hartland, and the Pratt family uncles were all noted as highly successful agriculturalists. John was a good student, graduating from Hartland High School in 1946, and following a year in Normal College and a year teaching in a one-room school, he was accepted into Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC, now Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University), graduating in 1950. After attaining a B.Sc. (Agr.) from Macdonald College (McGill University) in 1952, he completed his M.Sc. at Penn State University two years later. He returned to Macdonald in 1954, where he attained his doctorate in 1957 and became a Faculty Member for ten years. John met Margaret while both were attending Macdonald College, and they were married there in 1954. His doctoral research led to the development of "Leo" Birdsfoot Trefoil, the first named cultivar of this important forage crop species. John returned to NSAC in 1967 to become the first head of the Plant Science Department. Over his 20 year career, he taught a variety of plant courses and carried on agronomy field trials both on and off campus. But teaching was his first love, and he was always a strong advocate for practical, hands-on education. Many students affectionately knew him as "Johnny Plant" and he, in turn, knew every one of them by name and watched with interest as their careers in agriculture developed. A scholarship for top students from New Brunswick in the second or third year of the B.Sc. (Agr.) program was established at NSAC in John's name in 2010. It gave him great pleasure to meet the first two recipients and to know that it will help future generations of New Brunswick students to begin their agricultural careers. In addition to his academic and professional research interests in Plant Science, John had many other interests that he pursued as hobbies at various times with great enthusiasm. These included gardening, carpentry, model ships, jigsaw puzzles, card games, photography, stamp and coin collecting, winemaking, travel, trout fishing, genealogy and history, particularly the history of the Maritime Provinces. He was a great storyteller with a wonderful sense of humour, who could expound at length on maritime history. Following his retirement from NSAC in 1987, John and Margaret built their retirement home on the family cottage property at Reids Cove near Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. They spent most of their retirement years there indulging their gardening interests, interrupted by regular excursions for family visits and adventure vacations in Europe and the United States. He enjoyed visiting his two grandchildren, with whom he shared a passion for board games. Cremation has taken place under the care of the Colchester Community Funeral Home, 512 Willow Street, Truro and a formal Celebration of Life will be held there on Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. to provide attendees with an opportunity to share their memories of John. An informal Reception will follow at Ryan Duffy's Wine Bar & Grill, 515 Prince Street, Truro at 4:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Dr. John Bubar Scholarship fund would be most appreciated. For information on how to donate, go to or contact Jenna Forsyth, Donor Relations Officer, Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture at 1-902-893-6721, specifying the Dr. John Bubar Scholarship Fund. Online condolences may be made at

Published in Montreal Gazette on Apr. 5, 2014
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