• "I met Peta while she was working at the Ottawa Public..."
    - Hermann Dworschak
  • "Peta made good friends during her time as Canadian Scholar..."
    - Raewyn Connell
  • "I am saddened to learn that Peta has left us. Women have..."
    - Maria Peluso
  • "Peta was hired as the Director of the McGill Centre for..."
    - Susan Czarnocki
  • "My deep felt sympathies. I got to know Peta through FQRSC..."

TANCRED, Peta B.A., M.A., PhD
July 30, 1937 – August 15, 2017
With sadness, we announce the passing of Peta Tancred, at the Chateau Westmount in Montréal. Peta was predeceased by her partner Guy Paquette, her parents Paul and Elma Tancred (nee Osborne), her sister Jennifer Williams, and her niece Pamela Williams. She is survived by her niece Becky Mihell (Jim) of Sault Ste. Marie, ON. Peta will be greatly missed by her numerous friends and past colleagues from the department of Sociology at the University of McGill, and internationally.
Peta was born in London, England, and was raised in India until she reached nine years of age, at which point she lived in England until the age of thirteen. Her family then moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she lived until the age of fifteen, whereupon they moved to Ottawa, Canada. At the age of five, Peta, accompanied by her eight-year-old sister, was sent to boarding school in Simla, India – a four-day's train journey away from her parents. From then on, the two sisters would visit their parents only on an annual basis.
Peta was a strong, independent and capable woman of great intellect and a desire for learning. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and English from McGill University, her Master of Arts (with distinction) in Sociology at the University of Montréal, and her PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics. She was a professor of Sociology at McMaster University and at McGill where she directed the McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women.
Since the l980s, Peta was involved in feminist work of all kinds, focusing particularly on women's work in organizational settings, where she was considered a leader in the field of "Gendering Organizational Analysis". Through the course of her professional career, Peta published ten books and more than fifty other publications in both French and English, pertaining to the role of women in society.
In 1999, Peta was awarded the Outstanding Contributions Award by the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association for her efforts in advancing the discipline of Sociology in Canada. She was also selected for a Women of Distinction Award in 2004 for her work in the public sector generally.
Peta took great interest in the lives and endeavours of her nieces and grandnieces, and she helped support their education. Known for her love of conversation, music, tennis and travel, as well as her joie-de vie, Peta loved getting together with friends over meals to discuss issues of substance.
The family would like to acknowledge and express its gratitude for the help and support of Peta's friends in Montreal: in particular, Susan, Astrid, Ona, Christine and Andrée, as well as the staff (in particular, Helen) at Le Waldorf and at Chateau Westmount, over the last few years of declining health.
A come-and-go celebration of Peta's life has been scheduled at IGSF, 3487 Peel St., 2nd Floor on Sunday, September 17 at 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the OSU Children's Library Fund (, or 60 Million Girls (

Published in Montreal Gazette on Aug. 19, 2017
Arrangements under the direction of:
Arthur Funeral Home - Barton & Kiteley C
492 Wellington Street East | Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A2L9 | (705) 759-2522
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