EDGINGTON, Eugene Sinclair
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May 24, 1924 - September 2, 2013
A brilliant mind, loyal family man, dedicated scientist.
"It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics."
~ George Bernard Shaw
Eugene Sinclair Edgington (also known as Rusty Edgington) was born in the small town of Monegaw Springs, Missouri to Rosella (Gordon) and Frederick Edgington. As a young child during the Great Depression he often walked to school barefoot, and came from a family who would give what little they had to those who needed it more. Eugene was a bookworm in school, and had a hunger for learning. He lived for ideas. It was therefore no surprise to those who knew him that after serving his country in WWII and the Korean War that he became the first in his family to attend university, receiving his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Kansas State University and a Phd in Psychology from Michigan State University.
He taught at several colleges and universities in the United States before deciding to move to Canada. He settled in Calgary, Alberta where he began a career that would span over decades as a Professor of Psychology at the University of Calgary, specializing in Statistical research. He was the author of many articles and several books including Statistical Inference: The Distribution-Free Approach and Randomization Tests.
Eugene was fascinated by and truly loved Statistics. He thought about new statistical concepts day and night, leaving complex diagrams and equations that were a cryptic mystery to his family, on white boards and scraps of paper, throughout his home and office. His work changed the way experimental research and design would be conducted throughout the world in many fields. His expertise was consulted from so many faraway places that his children started a stamp collection that was the envy of many. Eugene spent a sabbatical year in England in 1967-1968 and as a Professor Emeritus since 1990 he continued to write and consult. He had a brilliant mind and never stopped thinking or creating throughout his 89 years. He was proudly eccentric, determined to think and live his life his own way. He was the most intelligent person most of us had ever met.
Eugene was a strong believer in education and encouraged the pursuit of life-long learning in all his children. He enjoyed getting together with his children and grandchildren over a good meal and talking about their current interests, activities, or his own fascinating research. Every Christmas he took care to choose the perfect Christmas present for each of his grandchildren combining their unique interests with an educational aspect. Chemistry sets, crystal growing kits, books, mathematical puzzles, ant farms, building kits, venus fly traps, train sets, electronics and microscopes are some of the cherished gifts he gave. His love of higher education in all forms has been successfully passed down as a legacy to his decendants.
Eugene cared deeply for his family and stayed connected with his extended family who lived throughout the United States and Canada. He was always the first to know family news, valued connections with family, and was a person who could be counted on to reach out and help others.
Eugene Sinclair Edgington passed away peacefully in his sleep in hospital on Monday, September 2, 2013 at the age of 89. He was predeceased by his parents Frederick Edgington and Rosella (Gordon) Edgington, and his older brothers Carroll Edgington and Dan Edgington.
Eugene is sadly and forever missed by his five proud children, Virginia Purcell, Kathy Sisco, Patrick Edgington, Susan Edgington Ellam, Corrie Barling; nine grandchildren, Curtis Edgington, Jared Sisco, Torrie Bradley, Kyla Purcell, Casey Edgington, Cade Sisco, Connor Purcell, Teagan Barling, Tyler Barling; and his sisters Kathryn Carlyle and Ella Lou Shapley, and many nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service will be held at FOSTER'S GARDEN CHAPEL, 3220 - 4 Street N.W., Calgary (across from Queen's Park Cemetery) on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta, Suite 200, 119 - 14 Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 1Z6 or Lakeridge Health Bowmanville, Chaplain Spiritual Care, 47 Liberty Street South, Bowmanville, ON L1C 2N4. You are invited to leave a condolence or share a memory of Eugene via the website www.fostersgardenchapel.ca. FOSTER'S GARDEN CHAPEL FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORIUM. Telephone: 403-297-0888. Honoured Provider of Dignity Memorial.
Published in National Post on Oct. 5, 2013