Tom Krogh

Thank you for your messages

Many friends and collegeages have sent us their thoughts and memories. The family appreciates each and every one.

Last updated Saturday, May 10th.


Some favourite snapshot memories of Tom;

Rolling north in the dark in Herb Helmstaedt's old truck to beat the first snows to the Kapuskasing Uplift, watching Tom approach an outcrop, moving through time and scale - a great field geologist applying his own brilliant, home-built language for interrogating the planet, returning to be introduced to Kathy and kids at their cozy farmhouse at the end of the road before enjoying pieces of Sudbury breccia by the fire, all smiling in tune with Tom's unquenchable enthusiasm; Tom's illuminating diagrams covering the sides of the many boxes stacked in the halls of ROM 3B; sardines!; Tom's photographic memory and ability to pick up a zircon conversation held 2 years ago as if only 2 minutes had passed; quiet hours at the microscopes in the picking room, sharing views, innumerable nuggets of zircon knowledge offered by Tom, as always, free of charge ... waiting for that inevitable turn in the conversation that would bring us all back to the heartland, the Grenville Province and an outcrop Tom had in the Moon River or by the Krogh family cottage ... ; inspiring lessons from activism in the 60's "Protesting might not help, but how's it going to hurt?"

Tom's attention to scientific honesty and integrity was a constant banner of tribute to the philosophy of our work. He cared so deeply for learning the truth, and for fairness in the discipline...all a part of Tom's larger deep humanity that will always resonate in the community even while we feel his loss so keenly.

With heartfelt condolences to the Krogh family,

Desmond Moser
former student and post-doc
Assistant Professor, University of Western Ontario


Remembering Tom Krogh

Among the classical stories that circulated in the lab about Tom the most enduring ones were those about days of intense and relentless field work, occasionally lasting well into the night, oblivious of his poor post-doc's apparent needs for food, caffeine, and energy. In the lab Tom was typically to be found sitting at a microscope studying zircon separates, making grain mounts, and exploring the thousand-and-one ways to etch the grains, to reveal their textures and remove discordant domains. Or, then, immersed in passionate elaborations of the geology of the Grenville Province, the Grenville Front, Labrador, the Western Gneiss Region of Norway. And talking about zircon, its appearance, composition and transformations, and especially on how one could best use it to extract age information.

Eternally looking for way to improve methods, to discover nature's true mechanisms, processes and connections between rocks, minerals and earth history. Because of his deep curiosity and passion for the research, and his steady belief that there had to be ways to improve methods and approaches, he was always way ahead of the pack. After my arrival at the ROM in 1980 I (together with the others in the lab) was given endless, direct and indirect, lessons on how to look into zircons and study their interiors before doing analyses. For us it was, therefore, rather anti-climactic when, some 10 to 15 years afterwards, the zircon community eventually 'discovered 'zircon imaging and started writing serious articles about it. Tom had explained much of that a long time before.

The same applies to the recent 'discovery' by the community of alteration in zircon and monazite. In 1980, at the ROM, Tom would spend hours demonstrating, to anyone who cared to listen, the effects of alteration in zircon; that awareness became the basis of his revolutionary techniques in zircon-pre-treatment before analysis. He was also marching in the front rows when it came to understanding and exploring the geological complexity related to mountain building processes. His work in the Kapuskasing Zone, in Labrador and especially in the Grenville Province of Ontario, showed how one could penetrate systematically through layers and layers of complexity, stepping around in a bewildering state of confusion and darkness at first, but eventually shedding light on the scene, revealing progressively more and more clearly the real connections and exposing the reality. Tom never stopped in his quest, and would always move to attack the next set of problems rather than just sit back and be satisfied by what he had just achieved.

Tom is justly renowned for his technical developments that contributed so much to the progress in geochronology. Using his drive, basic philosophy on how to do science, and record of excellence, he also set up that unique and most remarkable scientific operation, the Jack Satterly Laboratory, revered by the scientific community at large (though never properly appreciated by the mother organization). Last but not least, he has left a legacy as a very perceptive person and scientist, able to avoid banality in his quest for the deeper meaning of nature.

While I'll miss Tom, I'll always preserve a good memory of his friendship, personal philosophy and creativity.

Fernando Corfu, May 3rd 2008.


How very sad for us in Australia to learn of Tom's death in the last few days. I am presently in Japan and had been out of touch with the fact that Tom's condition had deteriorated so quickly in recent weeks. Tom has been a light on the mountain for many of us for decades. Not just for his huge contributions in zircon geochronology and dating of the earth's crustal events, but more importantly for his openness and generosity of energy and spirit. The venue didn't matter: it might have been in the field, in the lab, at a conference, at Lake Muskoka, or perhaps chasing emus in the Aussie outback. We always got the real Tom, the generous fellow who cared about colleagues and his own work, yet admirably cared always more for Kath and their kids. Thanks mate for your uplifting 33-year long friendship.

Susan and I send warmest condolences to Kathy, to Erik, Sara, Kari and Jason and their families.

Rod Page, Canberra


While "most men [may] lead lives of quiet desperation", you weren't most men, Tom. You led a life of quiet occupation - occupied with your family, your garden, your lab, your planet. You approached your occupations with an enviable life-long passion. Memories outnumber any thoughts I can put down here but there were certainly some sweet ones.

I can see you wiping away laughter-tears walking behind a 3 year old "Nikalus Pikalus" (a handle you saddled him with) who was admonishing a stray mutt to "Get out of mine butt, dog!" and then, when he took a more universal approach and warned the mongrel to "Get out of mine life, dog!" you busted one of your big belly-laughs and retold it with a chuckle more than once.

Or the night we raised more than a few to my newly born daughter - so many that you had to drag me, like a 200 lb. dead weight sample, into your living room and place me on a comfortable stretch of carpet for the night. In a fog, I remember Kathy saying, "You can't leave him like that." and you saying, "He's fine, he's happy." One father understanding another.

You also had a great way of popping pompous balloons without so much as a microgram of malice. Like the time I was touting my ostensibly "gourmet" cevapcici on the grill. You popped one in your mouth and then asked everybody at the BBQ to come and "eat some of these Croatian weenies, they're pretty good."

I was pleased that we got to spend a day together not too long ago. Going to a quarry, then off on the back roads collecting samples. Two old dudes climbing rocks and cutting a few away. All the while you telling me what rigmarole Mother Earth went through to put 'em here. Then discovering that old Norwegian church on a remote back road in Muskoka. Talking solar, wood heat, wind, just on and on. You being a scientist and a little boy all at once.

The kids and I would wait for the hair to be swept back and the eyes to close. Then we knew you were in your "rock reverie". We'd giggled because is was not only endearing but witness to a passionate life.

I've often counseled my children that it wasn't so much what they did that mattered but that they needed to do it with passion. And there wasn't a better role model for a life lived in quiet passion.

Miss you, old man.

The other Tom


It is with great sadness that I learned of Tom's death.  I am one of the legions of geologists whose scientific curiosity intersected with that of a remarkable scientist and human being.

I initially met Tom when I was a graduate student at McMaster University in the late 70's, working on, among other things, disturbance of Rb-Sr isotopic systems.  One of the dilemmas I faced was how to reliably assess the age of the units in order to understand why the Rb-Sr ages were not correct and Bob McNutt suggested I visit his buddy from grad school who was in the midst of establishing the world's foremost U-Pb isotopic facility in Toronto.  I arranged a meeting one morning, hoping to get an hour of this already world renowned scientist's time.  Tom's reaction when I initially introduced the problems I was working on with the Rb-Sr system was to pronounce that he "could guess the age better than I could measure it".  He was correct, however, as the discussion continued and talk turned to understanding why this system behaved the way it did, I was exposed for the first time to Tom's incredible scientific curiosity and by the end of our meeting we had hatched a plan for me to work in the lab to add the U-Pb component to the project.  This first meeting that I had initially expected to last an hour ended up occupying the entire day.  As I think back on this and other lengthy discussions with Tom, it is ironic that someone who revolutionized the measurement of time would lose all track of it when he was discussing geology.

I spent many hours in the lab with Tom over the next few years and intermittently in the ensuing decades but never ceased to be amazed at his generosity, scientific curiosity and intellectual capacity.  I also came to understand that his passion extended to all things Grenvillian, music, the planet, the cottage and family.  The world is a better place for Tom's time on it and poorer for his passing.

My sincerest condolences to the family.

Gary Beakhouse,
Ontario Geological Survey


To the Krogh Family,

Dear Kathy and the "kids" (my memories of you are when you were young), I extend to you my deepest sympathy and condolences on the passing of a dear husband and father. The news of Tom's death took me by surprise. It was a shock and left me a bit stunned because he was someone with whom I had had a continuing friendship and professional relationship for many years and although I had lost contact with him since he and I retired I was unaware that he was ill. Given the sense of loss that I feel, I can but guess at how you feel at this time. I hope to be able to make it to the get-together at the faculty club on Thursday and express my condolences in person.

The following is the story of how Tom and I fell into contact with one another:

"It was more than forty years ago, when I was on a field trip looking at the Huronian sequence on the North Shore of Lake Huron that I first met Tom. On the first day of the trip most of us had been out looking at rocks all day. When we came back to Ken Card's field camp in Whitefish Falls we found that several others had arrived during the day. One of these was a reddish blonde haired hippie-looking guy who was holding forth whilst supporting the stove, which wasn't too far from the fridge. Eventually we met and after saying "Hello" he asks me "where did you graduate from" (I had an accent that left no doubt as to my ethnic origin), I said "Aberdeen". With that big smile/chuckle of his he says, "Oh you are going to be just like Jim ----- (a person whom I had never heard of, nor since met, but who obviously was an Aberdeen geology graduate of Tom's acquaintance), you'll never amount to anything!"

It was a pretty gutsy introductory statement for a guy who had a fair bit less mass than I. My thoughts were, "hmmm, maybe he's got a black belt in karate, or, maybe he just likes to stir the pot". The result was a vigorous discussion that covered a lot of ground.

Often on field trips one meets people and its like two ships passing in the night. At that time neither of us could have even remotely anticipated the collegial relationship that would later develop between us.

It was in the early 70s that I got a job with the organization that is now the Ontario Geological Survey. As someone whose home country could be dropped into Lake Superior without much of a ripple, it boggled my mind that in Ontario, this huge province underlain by a big chunk of the Canadian Shield, we did not have a clue as to the age or relationships of any of these ancient rock sequences. One day over coffee I found myself having a discussion with one of my peers about the need to do something about dating these shield rocks. He was keen on something else. In the middle of the conversation, in walks the Director…"What are you two arguing about?" We each made our case. When we were finished he looks at me and says, "If you want a geochronology laboratory, write me a proposal".

Never one to back away from a challenge, I did lots of research on geochronological methods and concluded that if I was going to make the best proposal possible I needed to go and talk to some geochronologists. In the Western Hemisphere at that time, the leading organization was the Carnegie Institute in Washington DC. I arranged to go there and over the course of a few days pumped the brains of several geochronologists. One of these was of course Tom. From that I became convinced that the only kind of geochronology that would truly benefit Ontario was Uranium /Lead. It was also clear that if the OGS were to set up a geochronology lab in conjunction with its then current geochemistry labs, it would be dead meat in no time flat. The need for ongoing methodological research would be critical. It was therefore proposed that the lab should be in some sort of external environment that would achieve the needs of the OGS but also allow research in a broader context.

The proposal was submitted to my director Ed Pye; virtually all of the cost numbers came from Tom who was very generous with his time and advice. Ed, working with others, put a proposal up the system and amazingly the province coughed up the money to set up a geochronological laboratory. The Royal Ontario Museum was the chosen location and Tom accepted the challenge of being director, overseeing the building of the lab and then its operation.

In retrospect the approval process sometimes seems to have been be the easy part because getting new equipment and keeping the lab operating through the vagaries of ROM, OGS and NSERC budgets was no small challenge. With anyone less than Tom in charge the place would have faded away. However Tom's utter brilliance not only in understanding geologic processes but perhaps more importantly the art of doing zircon geochemistry put the work done at the lab at the worldwide pinnacle of scientific achievement in geochronology. I have often thought that if anyone should get a Nobel Prize in anything starting with "geo" it should be Tom.

During the time that Tom was Director of the Jack Satterley Geochronological Laboratory I wandered through several jobs, some a bit distant from hard-core geology, yet we were never out of touch. I tried to positively affect outcomes for Tom and geochronology within the broader Ontario system even at times when I was not able to directly influence decision making.

Looking back, our frequent conversations often rambled somewhat, ranging from leading edge science to how we could squeeze some more dollars out of what purse. As with that first "discussion" in Whitefish Falls those many years before, I don't think they were ever short!

Tom and I went through some wonderful and also testing times together. My memories, which span a working lifetime, are all positive. He is someone for whom I had the utmost respect both as a scientist and a human being, I am proud to call him friend. I will miss him, I can only guess as to how all of you will miss him.

John Wood.
Former Director OGS; former Director Mineral Resources Division, GSC. Now retired


It will take a very long time indeed before I can gather together all the memories of Tom Krogh in my life. From the day my husband, (the other Tom) and I barged into the Krogh household in the Beaches in the very early 70's, to the countless days spent at the Krogh cottage with a gaggle of Krogh and Stipanovich children swimming, running, and having a blast, to the best holiday ever, our Krogh/Stipanovich trip to Cuba, Tom Krogh has been dear to me. His endless supply of stories, tales of geology certainly, but also anecdotes about politics, gardening, cooking, and life in general are the backdrop to our friendship with Tom and Kathy. All four of us love to talk and talk we did. Through the Vietnam War, through Civil Rights, through children growing, through new children coming, through loosing our own parents, through trying to make sense of a world that seems turned on its head most of the time, Tom Krogh and his smile, his warm, gentle and always humorous manner was there for us. I'll miss him when I garden, especially when the tomatoes come in. I'll miss him when I look out over Lake Muskoka and remember how much he loved it there. And I'll miss him when I build a fire in the wintertime. That man could build a fire. He could also build a friendship that lasts a lifetime. I'll miss him for the rest of mine.

Darla Stipanovich


All of us here in the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering at Queen's were saddened to learn of Tom's death. He was a major force in the development of the geochronological tools that have allowed geologists to understand the rates at which earth processes operate and the timing of the major events in earth history. Our understanding of the planet on which we live is infinitely better because of his pioneering work.

I have informed the Secretariat Office of Queen's University of Tom's passing. They have informed me that the main flag on campus will fly at half mast on May 8 in his honour.

The Department and University are honoured to have had a small role in his career. On behalf of the Department, I extend our sincere condolences on this passing.

Bob Dalrymple
Professor and Head of Department


Dear Kathy, Erik & Jane, Kari & Dave, Sara & Mark and Jason & Jenn, and Jeremy, Rebecca, Ezra and Alyssa Hong Gee,

We have been thinking of Tom and of all of you, in this sad time, from far away across the ocean, here in Sweden. I am certain that Tom found great comfort knowing that your love surrounded him at the end of his life. His memory will live on in your hearts and in your minds. I imagine him now, rock hammer in hand, striding across the Canadian shield, or in his straw hat, tending his organic tomatoes. We will be with you in spirit on May 8.

Love, Elizabeth Gold and Johan Lindell


Memories of Tom

One of the best memories I have is from the first time I set foot in the Jack Satterley Lab as a student, intent on doing some age dating in the Grenville Province. As we all know, the Grenville was Tom's geological favourite, so convincing him to accept a Grenville student was straightforward. What was less straightforward was how the student was managed once he or she arrived on the doorstep. In my case, Tom employed what I later learned was classic technique - he informed Larry Heaman, I think for the first time earlier that day, that he had a new student!

Having seen it a few times during my own years at JSL, normally a new student walks around the lab with a perplexed and at times overwhelmed look until someone shows them the ropes. So it was with some degree of confusion that when I met Larry for the first time that day, he looked more perplexed than I felt! Fortunately Larry is a straight shooter and told me what had happened, and was polite enough not to offload me on the spot. We went on to have a successful, and in my opinion very rewarding collaboration. I credit both Tom and Larry for that.

All my memories from that day forward are somewhat magical, looking back on them now. Memories of Tom, Larry and many others on fieldtrips, with the JSL crowd kneeling on outcrops and identifying datable minerals on the spot. Tom sampling some of those same minerals with a screwdriver. All the discussions of the 'Kroghsian' methods of dating complex metamorphic rocks. There were rarely times in my interactions with Tom that he didn't provide me with something to think about, mainly concerning geochronology, but also related to humility, perseverance, and curiosity. I think those three traits really defined the man. He was, and still is famous in the geology world but one would never ever detect this in conversation with him. This apparent lack of ego made him totally approachable as a result, which I think probably surprised many a student over the years. His perseverance and curiosity are to my mind the traits that contributed the most to his career success. I learned a tremendous amount both by discussing his work with him and by being prompted to 'try this' or 'perhaps do that' in my own work. I hope he knew how often his guidance was spot-on, and how that made the pleasures of working at the lab, and discovering new geological things each day, all that more enjoyable and rewarding.

John Ketchum


To Kathy, the Krogh family and friends:

On behalf of the Department of Geology at the University of Toronto I am offering our deepest condolences. Tom brought great prestige and honour to the department and we were very fortunate to have him as a member of our faculty. Tom had great impact in many areas for us: he had many friends and research collaborators in the department and he was instrumental in teaching and inspiring several generations of graduate students and post doctoral fellows, many of whom have gone on to great things.

Tom and the Jack Satterly lab have been enormously important to my own research and professional development. I was fortunate to collaborate with him on a project in the Canadian shield in the early 1990's. Then and more recently, I have fond memories of wide ranging and always inspiring conversations with Tom in the "picking room" deep in the basement of the ROM.

The Department has lost a truly valued member and the Earth Sciences have lost a true and visionary leader.

Sandy Cruden
Chair, Dept. of Geology
University of Toronto


While "most men [may] lead lives of quiet desperation", you weren't most men, Tom. You led a life of quiet occupation - occupied with your family, your garden, your lab, your planet. You approached your occupations with an enviable life-long passion. Memories outnumber any thoughts I can put down here but there were certainly some sweet ones.

I can see you wiping away laughter-tears walking behind a 3 year old "Nikalus Pikalus" (a handle you saddled him with) who was admonishing a stray mutt to "Get out of mine butt, dog!" and then, when he took a more universal approach and warned the mongrel to "Get out of mine life, dog!" you busted one of your big belly-laughs and retold it with a chuckle more than once.

Or the night we raised more than a few to my newly born daughter - so many that you had to drag me, like a 200 lb. dead weight sample, into your living room and place me on a comfortable stretch of carpet for the night. In a fog, I remember Kathy saying, "You can't leave him like that." and you saying, "He's fine, he's happy." One father understanding another.

You also had a great way of popping pompous balloons without so much as a microgram of malice. Like the time I was touting my ostensibly "gourmet" cevapcici on the grill. You popped one in your mouth and then asked everybody at the BBQ to come and "eat some of these Croatian weenies, they're pretty good."

I was pleased that we got to spend a day together not too long ago. Going to a quarry, then off on the back roads collecting samples. Two old dudes climbing rocks and cutting a few away. All the while you telling me what rigmarole Mother Earth went through to put 'em here. Then discovering that old Norwegian church on a remote back road in Muskoka. Talking solar, wood heat, wind, just on and on. You being a scientist and a little boy all at once.

The kids and I would wait for the hair to be swept back and the eyes to close. Then we knew you were in your "rock reverie". We'd giggled because is was not only endearing but witness to a passionate life.

I've often counseled my children that it wasn't so much what they did that mattered but that they needed to do it with passion. And there wasn't a better role model for a life lived in quiet passion.

Miss you, old man.

The other Tom


Francine and I first knew Tom and Kathy as our neighbours in the Beach, starting in the 1980's. They and the Hykamps and us celebrated New Years eve together, at one of our homes, for maybe 20 years, almost every year. We learned about rock-dating incrementally, one lesson a year, amidst celebratory noise, food and drink, just before the midnight kiss. He offered more instruction after midnight but we were poorer students then. We know that his process was, in his words, "trivial" or "banal", but it apparently had enough people interested in it that he seemed always traveling somewhere to tell them about it. He and Kathy were so caring for each other, being in their presence together was something we looked forward to every year. We badly missed him and Kathy this New Year's 2008. Our New Year's tradition will continue in memory and celebration of Tom this coming year.

With love for Kathy and the family, Gary and Francine Shortliffe


It was with great shock and sadness that we in the Geological Survey of Canada received the news of the sudden passing of Tom. Tom was instrumental in the development of the Geochronology Laboratory at the Geological Survey of Canada. The GSC laboratory adopted Tom's pioneering techniques in uranium-lead geochronology, which revolutionized the Canada's ability to solve persistent geological questions. In particular, Tom and the GSC lab worked collaboratively in the mid-1980's to develop a synthetic lead solution that once again, placed Canadian geoscience at the forefront of the world. The fact that this solution was, and continues to be, distributed to laboratories internationally is but one small display of Tom's far-reaching legacy. Tom also worked with many of our geoscientists in the field, providing advice and geochronological results that were critical to the success of our programs.

Tom's revolutionary contribution to understanding our planet and its processes were critical as, for the first time, Tom gave us the ability to look at our world in its full four dimensions. Without him and his well-known willingness to share knowledge and invest in training the current vanguard of geochronologists, our available approaches to solving geoscience problems would be severely limited. In this way, Tom legacy reaches out to all Canadians, and many citizens of the world.

Quite apart from the professional and scientific interactions, there are numerous GSC staff that remember Tom as a valued colleague and dear friend. It is on this level of friendship, that your loss is most keenly felt across our organization.

On behalf of the Geological Survey of Canada, we would like to express our sincerest condolences to Tom's family and friends.

Sincerely, David Boerner and Marc D'Iorio
Directors General, GSC


What I love Tom most for is that he was not only a great scientist (I can only imagine), but he was a beautiful person - his love for his family, Kathy and the earth is an inspiration forever. He took the patience to explain complicated concepts to me, a lay person, so that I could understand and get enthusiastic about complex matters.

I am grateful that he came to my life, my heart goes to Kathy and his children and grandchildren. I wish I could be with you all to hold you, cry with you and celebrate Tom's life.

Marjanka, from the Czech Republic.


To Tom's Family

My name is Ed Thompson and from 1955 to 1959 I attended Queen's University with Tom. We both studied Geology but also had a common interest since we both played in "The Collegians Dance Band". Tom played trumpet and I played alto saxophone/clarinet.

We were busy most week-ends playing for dances in and around the Queen's Campus. Tom had a car so he was very popular with the rest of his band mates in getting to and from gigs.

Tom always had a smile on his face and was happy both about his studies at Queen's and his music endeavours. We had a lot of fun in both areas.

Tom may have told you about our famous trip to Boston, MA after our 3rd year at Queen's. We had a great, funfilled 3 or 4 days there. I think Tom wanted to check out MIT and Harvard because I am sure he was thinking ahead.

Unfortunately, we lost track of each other after 1960. While it was always my intention to have a reunion of the Collegians Dance Band, it never happened. Doug Anson - drummer, Walt Syniuta- tenor sax and now Tom have died.

If you have a copy of Tricolor '59 and find the Odd Ball/The Odd Brawl page, in the upper left corner of the lefthand page, you will find a picture of our band. Tom is 3rd from the left in the back row and I am in the middle of the front row - the guy with the "shades". As well, I am standing on the ladder playing clarinet in the photo immediately to the right. I have fond memories of this evening - as you can see we were kind of crazy!!!

I am sure you are proud of all Tom's achievements and you will miss him. He was a great guy.

Sincerely, Ed Thompson - Arts '59 Queen's


I was deeply saddened to learn of Tom's passing. He was one of a select few true giants of science in Canada. His contributions to the development of geochronology cannot be overestimated - he is, in a very real sense, personally responsible for the quantum leap in understanding of the geological history of Canada (and indeed the world) that the new generation of accurate and precise age dates have allowed.

But perhaps more than his personal scientific accomplishments, he has been a mentor and inspiration for a new generation of geochronologists, many of whom trained in his lab at ROM. Their accomplishments are well recognized throughout the geological community and are a direct reflection of Tom's teaching.

I experienced some of this first hand. I first met Tom in Newfoundland on a field trip in Marystown when I was a graduate student (probably 1973 or 74). I recall a long and exciting evening in the bar in the hotel there hearing Tom's (then fairly new) ideas about precise age dating. It was probably one of the best seminars I ever attended!

I have crossed paths with Tom many times through the years, at conferences and scientific meetings. We shared a room on a field trip one time for three days, which was a delightful and educational experience, as well.

Most recently, I have worked with Tom on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Geological Foundation. In my role as Secretary, and later President, of the Foundation, I have been grateful for Tom's interest in maximizing the benefits of CGF to the geoscience community. He always brought a pragmatic perspective to our discussions, and valuable insight on the right thing to do. When Tom spoke, everybody listened.

I admired Tom greatly and I believe that he has a secure position as one of the great Canadian scientists of our generation. I spoke to him on the phone only a couple of weeks ago on matters related to CGF - I am really glad to have had that opportunity one more time.

Regards

Scott Swinden
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
(President, Canadian Geological Foundation)


Tom and I attended Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School in the early 1950's. We both ended up in Grade XIII in the same class, A13B. I remember that loved to play the trumpet and I believe that he was in the school concert band throughout his years in PCVS. So sorry to hear of his passing and from what I have read an outstanding Canadian. My sincere condolences to his wife, children and grandchildren.

John Hunter, Toronto


Tom is my uncle and I've known him my entire life as a kind, generous and unpretentious man. That never changed, and I think that is a real testament to him; they are precious and rare traits to find in anyone. Whether he knew it or not, I was always very proud of having an uncle who studied rocks. It just seemed so real to me as a child, though I did think it was perhaps a bit of an odd "job" for an adult. I will never forget walking into the Royal Ontario Museum - after the Kroghs returned from Washington - and asking if I could please see Dr. Tom Krogh, my uncle - I felt so excited and important.

Tom and Kathy have lived such full lives with each other and with their kids and they have shared it with many others, including my husband and children. I know Tom's enthusiasm and warmth touched many people and that he will be sorely missed by them all. Patrick and I will miss him too.

Anna Myers


All of us here in the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering at Queen's were saddened to learn of Tom's death. He was a major force in the development of the geochronological tools that have allowed geologists to understand the rates at which earth processes operate and the timing of the major events in earth history. Our understanding of the planet on which we live is infinitely better because of his pioneering work.

I have informed the Secretariat Office of Queen's University of Tom's passing. They have informed me that the main flag on campus will fly at half mast on May 8 in his honour.

The Department and University are honoured to have had a small role in his career. On behalf of the Department, I extend our sincere condolences on this passing.

Bob Dalrymple
Professor and Head of Department


I first worked Tom when I was a post-doc at the University of Toronto in 1977 - I needed to date events from the Canadian Shield and so made my way down to Washington DC to learn at the feet of Tom Krogh, the undisputed master of precise zircon dating. What I found was a truly great scientist (though far too modest to admit to this) combined with a wonderful, rounded human being. Tom and Kathy welcomed me into their home and shared their multi-faceted lives with me. They quickly discovered that whilst I was useless at baby sitting, I had some talent for entertaining their bumptious wire-haired mongrel. Our conversations roamed much further than the science in hand, covering concerns for social problems worldwide. He was great at getting straight to the heart of the matter, and had no truck with jargon or pomposity. Tom was the most significant scientific influence on my research career and his influence has been one of the main reasons I have continued to research into isotope geosciences. Often, when tempted to take some analytical shortcut, I have thought of Tom and his infinite care and patience in extracting the maximum information from tiny zircon grains, and that thought has kept me on the straight and narrow. Although all this happened more than 30 years ago, and there must be scores of post-docs who could recall similar experiences with Tom, we have always stayed in touch because his science was entirely complementary to his fundamental humanity. You were a great role model and friend Tom, never to be forgotten. Thanks.

Nigel Harris


I was with a great sense of loss that we read of Tom's untimely death last week. His passing is a great loss to the national and international earth science community and will be felt by many. As you probably know, Tom provided services of enormous benefit to our department over the years. Our first encounter was when we first introduced Tom to Labrador back in 1983 and spent many days flying him around on some pioneering collecting trips, all the time being educated as to the insights into Precambrian geology that only high precision uranium-lead dating could bring. Tom was a missionary in this respect and we were among some of his early converts. Tom's initial work planted a seed that through successive generations of students and associates grew into the remarkable geochronological dataset that today underpins our understanding of the evolution of Labrador. Looking back to those days of the early 1980s, it is simply incredible how much progress has been made. If it is possible to sum up Tom's contribution in a single phrase it is that he had the rare knack of coming up with simple, elegant solutions to incredibly complex problems.

Tom was also a personal friend to many in our department; in particular Charlie Gower, Bruce Ryan and Ges Nunn. All of us can recall times spent with Tom either in the field or at GAC/MACs where he would display his incredible recall of just about every outcrop, and certainly every zircon, that he ever dated. Tom had a special respect for geological surveys which helped endear him to us; helped I think by the fact that he was also completely free of the sense of self importance that sometimes accompanies great intellect. He was also a man who could not resist a challenge, as many of us who bet beer on the outcome of some projects, found out to our cost.

Canada, and indeed the world, has lost a great geoscientist. We will miss him but rest assured that his work will endure.

We understand that it is the family's wishes that any donations be made to the Queen's University Science '59 Entrance Award. Our department will, therefore, be making a contribution after the inevitable paper work has been processed. Once again, Kathy, please accept our sincere condolences on your family's loss.

On behalf of the Department of Natural Resources

Dick Wardle
Assistant Deputy Minister, Mines Branch


Dear Kathy and All the Family:

It was with great sadness to learn of the passing of your dear Tom. Your card at Christmas told us the challenges you were all facing since last summer. The card has been in our view ever since we received it and you have been on our minds. Tom will be remembered by us as such a gentle and gracious person, whom we greatly admired and we marvelled at all his accomplishments. It is unfortunate that we will be unable to attend the gathering in Tom's honour on May 8th, but our thoughts will be with you all. We will keep in touch.

With our sincerest condolences and with love, Dennis and Annette


Dear Krogh family;

My sincere condolences for the loss of a remarkable man. Tom was so evidently committed to understanding this earth and to leaving on it just a small footprint. The loss of him undoubtedly looms large for all of you. I enjoyed spending memorable, always interesting, funny and food filled times with your family and the Stipanovich clan, especially during our respective childrens' growing years. My warm best wishes as you grieve the loss of Tom and celebrate his life.

Maaike Asselbergs


The fondest memories of my youth began with hot summer weekends on Hambly Ave. Tom, Kathy, Jason and I would pile into a very shaggy carpeted, stuffy blue van and bump and roll at tortoise speeds up highway 11 to an eagerly awaited rendezvous with a very special cottage on Lake Muskoka. Along the way Tom would always point out some new anomaly in the rusty rock that jutted out next to the winding two-lane road. I sat on an ice cooler, or a rolled up sleeping bag peering out between the two captains chairs listening with varying levels of intensity, I was only 5 or 6 years old and easily distracted by the blurry parade of fast food shacks and blueberry stands, but Tom could always bring me back with his stories of the landscape before time, before man, before dinosaurs, my mind would race. The cottage was a child's paradise and we ran free, in the evenings Tom would tell stories of their travels, of Norway, of rock. Always animated beyond his gentle demeanor; no one could weave "god damn" into a sentence more then Tom, he used it as punctuation. After dinner I remember him patiently teaching me how to build a fire. He was a champion at the task and I still use his technique today. It wasn't just the earth that he treasured but the trees and the water. The first and only time I have ever been truly sailing was on a small boat on that lake with Tom.

Many years later with a wife and a family close on the horizon I began feeling something pulling me back to Muskoka. My wife and I began vacationing there in the summers, finally buying an island place of our own. High up on a large pink granite outcrop, overlooking the lake it's easy draw comparisons and see why I feel my most relaxed there. Two weeks ago I was up there alone to open up the property. Tom had just taken a bad turn and it weighed heavily on my mind. In recent years life had sped up a bit and I haven't seen as much of the Krogh clan as I would have liked but it was always important to have Tom and Kathy near during the great moments in my journey, my wedding, the christening of my son in their beautiful yard. One of my usual tasks in opening the cottage is to repair the crushed granite path that leads up the hill to our place. The winter melt erodes it away cutting deep gashes into it. In the shadow of that massive pink stone and on my hands and knees moving grapefruit size river rock from one side of the path to the other I felt very connected to what Tom had meant to me. A peaceful man, a peaceful place, the lake, quite and calm in front of me.

Tom left us too soon. For a man who measured time not in days but in millions of years it was a flash but in that flash he touched many people, raised a great family and taught me how to light one hell of a fire. I will miss him greatly and remember him always.

Che


I may have been too young to have any complete memories of Tom Krogh, only snippets collected to make up a whole man, but my first and lasting memory of him was his scent. It smelled like musty wool, beer (before I knew what it smelled like), and the outdoors. It was a comforting scent and one that I would relate to a certain quality I would soon look for in a home or in a relationship. The smell of him made me comfortable around him when, as a young girl, I wasn't comfortable with anyone. It also made me think of the kind of person who I wanted to be: It made me think of, truthfulness, kindness, it was warm but also with a sense of perseverance like no matter what, that Krogh quality was going to be there. And it was. It spread throughout the house and as I grew older I noticed it in his children and Kathy. It was a scent that I would get excited over like I was going to my second home.

As I said I don't remember too much about Tom. Our conversations were quite limited when I was a kid, but I did see that he and I enjoyed the same thing; observing the world around us. I remember he never asked me questions when I was little but was content just as I to sit and watch the rain or his garden grow. He may have been shy, and so was I, but when we were alone together we both accepted it as the way we were. He was an adult that understood a lot of things; more than I could ever understand and still don't, but he understood a lot about shy kids as well.  When we finally did speak or I would ask him a question (as I was constantly encouraged to do like going up a mountain to seek advice from some rock guru), the most lasting thing I will remember about Tom Krogh was that he was always truthful in his answers. He didn't dumb it down, even for children. I appreciate that to this day and now realize it probably shaped me in ways that I have taken for granted over  the years.

It had been a long time since I saw the Krogh family last, but when I walked up those stairs for the memorial service I smelled that scent that I had forgotten—full of the outdoors, warmth, and kindness. I felt like Tom was there, but in the very real nature that he passed on to his children and wife. I am glad that nature and that scent is still living on today.

Sending my warmest thoughts to the Krogh family,

--Adrianna Stipanovich.


I did not know Tom very well, but respected and admired him immensely. He and his lab were almost single-handedly responsible for Canada becoming the indisputed world leader in understanding the formation and modification of Archean cratons, through ultra-precise U-Pb zircon dating. We will all miss him and his scientific leadership. Please accept my deepest condolences.

Dr. Michael Lesher
Professor and Research Chair in Mineral Exploration
Mineral Exploration Research Centre
Department of Earth Sciences
Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario


Tom Krogh a longtemps été pour moi un personnage mythique, un géologue de très grande réputation, admiré de tous, dont les travaux ont permis de mieux comprendre la géologie de notre vaste pays.

Je l'ai finalement rencontré l'an dernier lors d'une réunion du conseil de la Fondation canadienne des géosciences. C'est alors qu'il m'est apparu pour la première fois comme un individu en chair et en os.

An outstanding geologist, a giant, and at the same time a vulnerable human being

Robert Marquis


It was with great shock and sadness that we in the Geological Survey of Canada received the news of the sudden passing of Tom. Tom was instrumental in the development of the Geochronology Laboratory at the Geological Survey of Canada. The GSC laboratory adopted Tom's pioneering techniques in uranium-lead geochronology, which revolutionized the Canada's ability to solve persistent geological questions. In particular, Tom and the GSC lab worked collaboratively in the mid-1980's to develop a synthetic lead solution that once again, placed Canadian geoscience at the forefront of the world. The fact that this solution was, and continues to be, distributed to laboratories internationally is but one small display of Tom's far-reaching legacy. Tom also worked with many of our geoscientists in the field, providing advice and geochronological results that were critical to the success of our programs.

Tom's revolutionary contribution to understanding our planet and its processes were critical as, for the first time, Tom gave us the ability to look at our world in its full four dimensions. Without him and his well-known willingness to share knowledge and invest in training the current vanguard of geochronologists, our available approaches to solving geoscience problems would be severely limited. In this way, Tom legacy reaches out to all Canadians, and many citizens of the world.

Quite apart from the professional and scientific interactions, there are numerous GSC staff that remember Tom as a valued colleague and dear friend. It is on this level of friendship, that your loss is most keenly felt across our organization.

On behalf of the Geological Survey of Canada, we would like to express our sincerest condolences to Tom's family and friends.

Sincerely,

David Boerner and Marc D'Iorio, Directors General, GSC


The staff at the Geochronology Laboratory at the Geological Survey of Canada is saddened to learn of the passing of Tom Krogh. So much of the work we do today in the realm of geochronology follows from the seminal contributions Tom made during his exceptional career. This includes the numerous technical developments that achieved ever greater analytical precision and accuracy and, most significantly, developed the field of geochronology to be a major contributor to our understanding of how the earth works and evolved through time. Perhaps the greatest part of Tom's scientific legacy is the community of many students, post-doctoral fellows and colleagues who have had the good fortune of interacting with him as a scientist, colleague and friend. Tom will be greatly missed, but this large and active community, of which are a part, continues with considerable promise.

Our condolences to Tom's family and to all the members of the Jack Satterly laboratory.

Bill Davis
Section Head - Geochronology Laboratory
Geological Survey of Canada


I was sad to hear the news that Tom is no more among us. He was one of my heroes, a true innovator, who made it possible to date geological events in the Archean with the precision equivalent to a long weekend in the life time of a geologist. Where would our understanding of the Canadian Shield be without him?

Although his death seems like the end of an era, we can take comfort in the knowledge that Tom spawned so many new geochron labs that his legacy carries on in Canada and abroad. He has a secure place in the pantheon of great geochronologists.

I would like to convey my heartfelt condolences to his family.

Herb Helmstaedt
Geological Sciences
Queen's University