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Dr. Alan Edward BECK
1928 - 2020
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DR. ALAN EDWARD BECK, Professor Emeritus of Geophysics at Western University Dr. Alan Edward Beck passed away peacefully on December 1, 2020 at his home in London, Ontario. Alan was born January 27th 1928 in London, England. He met Julia Langley, the love of his life, at Australia National University where he did his PhD. They married in Sydney, Australia in 1955, and raised three children, starting in England then moving to Canada with trips back to Australia. He and Julia shared a love of music, good food and wine, rocks and nature, travel and reaching out to others. He proudly helped Julia with her devotion to preserving London's heritage buildings. He had a positive outlook on life, a wonderful dry wit and both kind and stubborn streaks which shone through to the end. Alan was Head of the Department of Geophysics (now Earth Sciences) at Western from 1963 to his retirement in 1993; faculty, staff and students were frequent guests at Alan and Julia's homes. His lifelong scientific interest in heat flow, the thermal state of the Earth, led to invitations to speak around the world; more than professional, it flowed into his passion for measuring and recording temperatures and other data in his personal life. He was the 1993 winner of the J. Tuzo Wilson Medal, as well as the author of a text 'Physical Principles of Exploration Methods' and numerous other publications. Alan was predeceased by Julia in 2012, as well as his brothers John and Ronald. He is lovingly remembered by his children Helen (Michael) of Ottawa, James (Aija) of London and Graham (Maria) of Perth, brother Harold (in England) and sister Mary (in Victoria). Dear grandfather of Ian (Chelsea), Ross and David, Emmanuel and Hannah (Casey), and great-grandfather of Harper, Clara, Evelyn and Finley. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, on Wednesday December 9, 2020, there will be a drive-by visitation from 3-4 p.m. at 39 Carfrae Street; we suggest driving east from Ridout to Richmond Street. Only immediate family will attend the interment at Mount Pleasant Cemetery (cremation has already taken place). Messages of condolence, including any memorable stories, may be left at In lieu of flowers, donations could be sent to Western University designated for the Julia and Alan Beck Scholarship Fund for geophysics or too a charity of your choice.

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Published in The Globe and Mail from Dec. 5 to Dec. 9, 2020.
03:00 - 04:00 PM
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2 entries
December 6, 2020
Alan was great Prof and advisor for myself and many others studying geophysics at Western in the early 80s. He provided inspiration to many of us who are active in the field of geophysics. He was always willing to make time for his students and was always approachable. He will be missed, but always remembered.
Robert Hearst
December 5, 2020
We are very sorry to hear of Alan’s passing. Lilla Connidis and family
Dr. I. Lilla Connidis
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