Joseph William Samuels
April 4, 1942 to April 2, 2015
Born in Regina, Saskatchewan to Clara Aileen (née Heirsh) and Victor Samuels, Joe had the great good fortune to live a life full of laughter and love and friendship.
From the age of 21, Joe shared his life with Pamela. Through thick and thin, Pam was his "editor" for over 51 years and his wife for almost 50 years. Their contract required that he make her laugh at least once a day, and he managed to do that more often than not. Their three children and their spouses, Mina (David), Robin (Vicky) and Noah (Kate), and five grandchildren, Carter, Brandon, Rachel, Isabella and Eva, were a source of unbounded joy.
Pam and Joe travelled widely, living two of their years together abroad. In 1966-67, with then-baby Mina in tow, they spent a year in London, UK, while Joe completed his Masters in Law. And again in 1974-75, with all three children in the back seat of a new Volvo, they toured Europe for two months, then settled for 9 months in the Loire Valley in a 500-year-old farmhouse, finishing with a month’s tour across northern Europe through the battlefields of the two World Wars. Rarely a year went by when they were not in Europe. They walked often in the English Lake District, and in the Yorkshire Dales.
Joe loved animals and was blessed at the end by the constant companionship of his dogs Parker and Macintosh, and cats Lucy and Maggie hovering close by.
An avid photographer, musician (joined his first band at 60 and did not too badly on the B flat and Bass Clarinets in the New Horizons Band, Encore the Concert Band, the London Concert Band, Mocha Shrine Concert Band, and the Klezmer group that he formed), long-time cyclist, walker, traveller, and above all, schmoozer extraordinaire (ask the lunch groups); he was also an international lawyer, labour arbitrator, and tireless in his service to the community.
Among other accomplishments, he was, in his time, a Professor of Law at UWO. As well as serving as an Advisor on International Law to both the Canadian Red Cross Society (1971-1978) and the Canadian Department of External Affairs (1973-1978), writing their joint briefing book for the Canadian Government’s involvement in the international Red Cross and Government Experts’ gatherings, and the International Conference leading to the adoption of the two additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 dealing with the protection of prisoners, civilians, wounded and sick and shipwrecked in time of armed conflict. He was also a consultant on External Affairs’ international control of weather modification activities, and to the United Nations Environment Program (1974-78), for which he drafted an international agreement for the control of weather modification activities that was used closely by Senator Ted Kennedy in drafting US legislation to control climate modification. For the CRC, he advised, too, on the protection of prisoners of war in Saigon, following the 1972 Paris Agreement ending the Vietnam War. And in 1986, he addressed the Moscow conference of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War.
He was particularly proud to have successfully represented Claire Kelly, a law student confined to a wheelchair, in her application to the Canadian Transport Commission in the mid-1970s for regulations which would enable handicapped people to travel with greater dignity and ease on passenger trains in Canada. The result was a whole new set of rules permitting people like Claire to travel easily across the country.
From 1986 on, he was a full time labour arbitrator, serving, among others, the Ontario Police Arbitration Commission, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Labour Canada and the Ontario Crown Employees Grievance Settlement Board.
Over the years he was involved in many community boards and groups, including Congregation Or Shalom, Temple Israel, Orchestra London, the London Performing Arts Centre, and the London Concert Band. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee to the Dean of Music, Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University
He is survived by his wife and children and their families.
A celebration of life will be held at noon on Monday, April 6 at Logan Funeral Home, 371 Dundas Street, London, Ontario (between Waterloo and Colborne St.). Those who wish may make memorial donations to the London Humane Society in memory of Joseph William Samuels.
Online condolences can be expressed at www.loganfh.ca
A tree will be planted, by the Logan Funeral Home, as a
living memorial to Joseph William Samuels.