David Borwein died peacefully in his sleep on September 3, 2021, at home. He was 97 years old, enjoyed good health all his life, and left this world with his sharp intellect and wit intact. He is survived by a tight-knit family and community who love him, above all his wife Bessie, and daughter Sarah, his nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his sons, Jonathan and Peter.
David was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, but grew up in South Africa, where he met Bessie, his wife of 75 years. Initially trained as an engineer at the University of Witwatersrand, he served in the Special Signal Services of the South African forces during WWII and then went on to complete his PhD in mathematics at the University of London in 1950, and his D.Sc in 1960. From 1950 to 1963, David was a lecturer in mathematics at St. Andrews University, Scotland. It was there that his three children -- Jonathan, Peter, and Sarah -- were born. Both boys would later follow David into mathematics, as would Sarah’s oldest son.
In 1963, David came by invitation to the University of Western Ontario as a visiting professor, and never left. He became head of the mathematics department in 1967, a position he held until 1989, while also staunchly supporting Bessie as she pursued her own PhD and impressive academic career.
David was president of the Canadian Mathematical Society from 1985-1987, published over 125 papers and remained actively involved in research into his 90s. In his later years David was increasingly devoted to Bessie and his family, delighting in watching his grandchildren and great grandchildren grow. Quietly loving but never sentimental, he would have found this obituary completely unnecessary.
Funeral service will be held at the Logan Funeral Home, 371 Dundas St., London, Ontario, on Sunday, October 3 at 1pm. Interment to follow in Restmount Cemetery.
Logan Funeral Home will be providing a livestream of the service on Sunday, October 3, 2021 at the service time. For those wishing to view David's service click here TO REGISTER for the livestream (please follow the instructions).
If you wish to attend the funeral service please call the Logan Funeral Home (519) 433-6181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and reference "Borwein" in the subject line. Include names and phone numbers for all members of your group. *NOTE*: As per the directive of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario, attendance numbers will be restricted and masks are mandatory.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Canadian Mathematics Society's David Borwein Distinguished Career Award, https://cms.math.ca/about-the-cms/donations/
Online condolences can be expressed at www.loganfh.ca
as a living memorial to David Borwein