Tyson, Ian “Hugh”

March 3, 1933 – June 12, 2018
at the age of 85 years.

A celebration of Hugh’s life will be held on September 1, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. at the First United Church, 450 Okanagan Ave. SE, Salmon Arm

Ian “Hugh” Tyson, age 85, died peacefully on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at the Shuswap Lake General Hospital in Salmon Arm, BC.  Born in Bromley, Kent,  Hugh spent his early childhood in Hong Kong and Malta returning to England in 1939. He is survived by his wife, Diane (nee Bishop), son Oliver (Hyoun-Joo), daughter Emily (Bill),  grandchildren Aveleen,  Ian, Sora and Dylan, as well as his sister Sally Brown. Always fascinated by nature, he obtained a PhD in Agricultural Botany from University College Wales, Aberystwyth in 1959 and devoted his professional career to the study of environmentally induced heritable changes in plants. He met Diane while working at the Canada Department of Agriculture in Morden, Manitoba.  Married in 1965, they have loved, supported and cared for each other for over 52 years.  An Associate Professor at McGill University in Montreal from 1965-1997, Hugh mentored numerous graduate students in their research and often delighted more in their success than his own. Upon his retirement in 1997, Hugh and Diane headed West to their adopted community of Salmon Arm, BC where he began a second career as an environmental activist, volunteering with various community organizations (Shuswap Environmental Action Society, Wetland Alliance: The Ecological Response, the Environmental Advisory Committee of the City of Salmon Arm and the Shuswap Solar Energy Society).  His overwhelming passion was the protection of the environment for future generations.  An avid squash player, cyclist and downhill skier until the age of 83, Hugh was a lifelong proponent of physical fitness. He founded the Salmon Arm Squash and Racquetball Society and was instrumental in the building of the community courts. He also loved working in his garden and listening to classical music, especially Mozart. He was endlessly curious about, and engaged with the world around him and will be sorely missed by family and friends for his kindness, humility, keen mind and subtle sense of humour. The family would like to thank the Physicians and Nursing staff at the Shuswap Lake General Hospital for their thoughtful and compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, donations to Eco Justice (https://www.ecojustice.ca/) or the West Coast Environmental Law Research Foundation (https://www.wcelfoundation.org/) would be greatly appreciated. Memorial Service to follow at a later date.


  1. Diane,

    So sorry for your loss. I was reading Lamarck’s Revenge tonight and wanted to share it with Hugh. Arlene did a google search and here I am. I have such fond memories of working with Hugh at McGill in the seventies, playing squash, tutoring, and benefitting from his friendship and mentoring. Still recall sitting with you all at dinner in the West Island.

    Arlene and I (Steve Taylor) send you our belated condolences and our sincere appreciation for Hugh’s profound influence on our life journey.

  2. Diane,
    I don’t know if you’d remember us, Gerry and Kathie Thomson (Thomson Plbg & Htg)
    We’re sorry for your loss and the hard days we know you’re experiencing. Just wanted to let you know that we remember Hugh very fondly. All of our interactions with the two of you were always positive and refreshing.
    May your days of mourning be uplifted with your happy memories of Hugh.
    Gerry and Kathie

  3. So sorry to learn of your loss. My thoughts are with you all

  4. Dear Di and family,
    Hugh and I became the best of friends in the past 20 years, through our special friendships with your neighbors Linda and the late Gord Henschell, as well as our like-minded interests/concerns. Hugh, Gord and I had many quality-time hours discussing current issues in Gord’s back yard overlooking the campfire and the Salmon Arm farmlands. Frank O’Donnell joined us in more recent years, adding his warm friendship and substantial expertise to the informal discussions. Increasingly, I treasure those remarkable good times.

    It has been a real privilege getting to know Hugh, and interacting with him. As a natural teacher, he taught by example. Fortunately for me, Hugh has become, and will continue to be a large part of my heart and soul going forward. My thoughts are with you, as I know the last several years have been on-and-off with stressful worries regarding Hugh’s health.

  5. So sorry Diane, to hear this news. Hugh was such a kind, humble, down to earth man. We were squash buddies for the last 13 years and I looked forward to my time spent with him both on the court and off. He amazed all of us with how well he could play even as he got older. We would all say “That is how I want to be at his age”. He was always a gentleman on the court but was even a better person off the court. I often felt that he was sort of a mentor to me and I could talk to him about anything. I was grateful that we were friends. I will really miss him. My thoughts are with you.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear this news Diane. Hugh was one of the very special people whose concern for the environment and the welfare of all went out far beyond the little hamlet he called home. I was privileged to know and work with him on a couple of community oriented projects. His contribution was immense as was everything he brought to the table. His entire life was a service to the planet that is our only home. He was one of the heros we desperately need right now and he will be sorely missed.

  7. Sincere condolences from Hucul Printing Ltd. in Salmon Arm.
    We did a lot of printing for Hugh, of projects he was working on for Wa:ter, etc. and personal prints of his photographs.
    Through this association, I got to know Hugh quite well and we would talk about the news of the day and issues of local environmental concerns.
    He was a wonderful man and I will always remember him.
    Bernie Hucul

  8. My thoughts and prayers are with you Di, Oliver and Emily. Hugh was indeed a one of a kind man and I am lucky to have had the pleasure of knowing him. Thinking of all of you during this difficult time.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Now Button