York Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus Hendrik Pieter Bernelot Moens, known as Peter Moens, died Monday, April 28, following a six-month battle with cancer. He was 76. A memorial service will be held today from 7 to 10pm at the 3rd floor lounge of the Lumbers Building, Keele campus.
Prof. Moens was a early faculty member of York, having joined the fledgling Department of Biology at Glendon before it became part of the Faculty of Science & Engineering at the Keele campus.
Right: Prof. Peter Moens
Born in 1931 to Dutch parents in Sukabumi, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), Prof. Moens was later repatriated, at the age of 14, to the Netherlands with his family, shortly after the end of the Second World War. In 1953, he and his new wife Marja emigrated from the Netherlands to New York City, where he worked as a physiotherapist at the Mount Sinai Hospital. In 1956 he moved to Canada, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1961. In Toronto, Prof. Moens resumed his education graduating in 1963 with a PhD in biological sciences from the University of Toronto.
Prof. Moens researched and taught with passion and dedication until he fell ill in late 2007. During his career at York, he became an internationally respected leader in the field of reproductive cell biology. His research and teaching was strongly influenced by his understanding of genetics, evolutionary theory and scientific method. Prof. Moens was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1978, was made a Distinguished Research Professor at York and served as the scientific editor of the Canadian genetics journal Genome for the last 25 years.
In addition to his research and teaching, Prof. Moens was a flutist, a maker of jewellery and furniture as well as an avid tennis player, sailor and triathlete. He will be remembered for his energy and his enthusiasm for life, and will be missed by his wife, five children, 14 grandchildren and many friends and colleagues.
Donations to the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care or the Canadian Cancer Society will be gratefully accepted.
The flag will fly at half mast today, from sunrise to sunset, in honour of Prof. Moens.