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TOMLINSON, Dr. Roger Frank OC - "Father of GIS"
17 November 33 - 07 February 14
Dr. Roger Frank Tomlinson, OC, died suddenly in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Dr. Tomlinson was a visionary geographer known worldwide. He was recently promoted to Officer of the Order of Canada. He has received numerous prestigious international awards but above all he treasured the professional associations and genuine friendships he made around the globe. Especially dear to him was his friendship with the Esri family. He was generous and loyal, a gentle giant, and will be deeply missed. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Lila (nee Blanchard), two sons, Ward (Caroline) and Christopher (Tanya), a daughter Frances (Douglas), and four grandchildren Christian, Benjamin, Ava, and Aaron Roger. Visitation will be Monday 17 Feb. 6-8 pm and Tuesday 18 Feb. 6-8pm at the Hulse, Playfair & McGarry funeral home 315 McLeod St, Ottawa. Chapel Service at Hulse and Playfair on Wednesday 19 Feb. at 1300 followed by Interment at the Beechwood Cemetery and a reception at a location tba. Donations to the Ottawa Heart Institute in lieu of flowers would be greatly appreciated. Further details can be found at

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Published in Ottawa Citizen from Feb. 14 to Feb. 15, 2014.
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Memories & Condolences
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14 entries
December 5, 2014
Just heard about Roger's passing. I was at Grammar School with him. Prayers for the family.
March 29, 2014
Roger Tomlinson – aply named a "gentle giant" here :-) – was a larger-than-life speaker in the first major conference I managed, Harvard Computer Graphics Week. His brilliance, his wit, and his warmth took on legendary proportions for my husband Howard and me. When last we met him, Roger poured us each a glass of champagne, twinkling with the toast: "End of song … beginning of story." We return that salute now, sir. Godspeed.
Peggy Kilburn
March 7, 2014
Chère famille, toutes mes condoléances. en tant qu'étudiant et admirateur de Roger qui nous a tant appris. qu'il demeure en paix. Que la force soit avec sa famille pour supporter cette lourde perte.
Ibrahima Almamy Wade
February 26, 2014
Celebrating a great life. Rest in peace, Dr. Tomlinson.
Sincere condolences to the family.
Aida Angelescu
February 26, 2014
I was saddened to read about Roger's passing. I learned an awful lot from him when he assisted us in developing a GIS for the environmental department of the oil and gas company I once worked for. He inspired me to continue learning about mapping and GIS. I find myself in a position to pass on some of what I have learned, including his words of wisdom, with my students. I will always remember the wisdom, advice and kindness he was so willing to share.
Teresa Bomersbach
February 24, 2014
Dear Ward, Caroline and other familymembers I don't know.... I send my condolances to you all and wish you get all the support you need to face this loss! I'm thinking of you! Love and hugs, Wike
February 24, 2014
Deepest sympathies to all Roger's family. You have been in our thoughts over the last few weeks. From Caroline's family in Ireland.
Nicola Heffernan
February 20, 2014
Dear Lila:

Please accept my deepest sympathies. Roger was indeed an exceptional person, who made the greatest contribution to GIS. I really enjoyed working with him on CAG activities.
Carolyn Weiss
February 19, 2014
Please accept my condolences for your loss. I hope you and your family can take comfort in the memories of your father.
Tim Allan
February 18, 2014
Ward and family - I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your dad. Ward, you may not remember me but we worked at the Capitol Square Cinemas years ago. I assume that you are the same person.

May your dad rest in peace. From the story in The Citizen, he sounds like quite an interesting man. I am sure that he will be missed by all who knew him.

Marc Wigle
February 14, 2014
Mr Tomlinson was an inspiration to all of us in the GIS community. I was fortunate to have met him on a couple of occasions and observe him on many others. I will miss his quiet demeanor and his smiling face. I'm grateful for his vision and life's work which has become the profession that I love. My condolences to Roger's family, he was a good man.
Kevin Sato
February 14, 2014
On behalf of everyone here at PCI Geomatics, a Canadian company that has thrived for over 30 years the geospatial industry that Dr. Tomlinson helped to create, we are sad to see hear of this news. Our sincere condolences to family, friends, and colleagues.
February 14, 2014
Dear Lila,
Roger was a dear friend and a wonderful mentor. I will miss him deeply.

Helen Purves
February 14, 2014
Mr. Tomlinson was an outstanding speaker, passionate about GIS and a significant influence on students at COGS. I'm glad to have met a man who made his mark in history and technology.
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