Bruce Willard Hodgins

Obituary of Bruce Willard Hodgins
Bruce W. Hodgins, (M.A., Ph.D., L.L.D.,professor emeritus, Trent University), beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away peacefully on August 8, 2019 in his 89th year at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. Now it must be memories that sustain us all-of a man who was larger than life and whose richest legacy is a huge community of people, young and old, who will carry forward lessons learned and values shared about the importance of friendship and camaraderie, respect for the land, loyalty to principle and joy in simplicity. He will be dearly missed especially by his wife of 61 years, Carol (nee Creelman),and his children Gillian (Grant), Shawn (Elizabeth) and Geoff (Patricia), along with his grandchildren Holly (Eric), Kayla, Bronwyn (Jacob), Alexander and Frieda, and also his many nieces, nephews, colleagues and friends. Born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario to Stanley and Laura Belle Hodgins, Bruce cherished the strong bond he shared with his brother Larry and his cousins Daryl and Warren Hodgins.
After attending Waterloo College and Queen’s University he began his teaching career at Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, PEI where, more importantly, he met Carol. In 1958 the newlyweds moved to North Carolina for Bruce to pursue his PhD at Duke University.
Four years later Bruce took up a position at the University of Western Ontario, moving on to Trent University in 1965, where he was truly revered as a scholar, teacher and mentor for more than 30 years.
In 1970 aboard a VW-van, he, Carol and their boys aged 7 and 9, crossed Europe as well asTurkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indiaand Sri Lanka, on route to a fellowship position at the Australian National Universityin Canberra, where he focused on comparative studies of Canadian and Australian Federalism.
At Trent, Bruce served as Chairman of the History Department as well asof the Frost Centre for Canadian Heritage and Development Studies and, increasingly, was at the vanguard in the field of northern studies; teaching, writing, and always encouraging others to do the same. But after Carol, canoe tripping was his first love. When his parents re-established Camp Wanapitei on Lake Temagamiin 1956, he took on the role of program directorand head tripper. Under his subsequent leadership, the camp forged a path that lead youth on remarkable adventures across the Canadian north in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, the Yukon, NWT and Nunavut. During his 63 years at Wanapitei he also formed lasting and meaning ful relationships with the Teme-Augama Anishnabai (TAA), joining in their struggles from opposing the Maple Mountain development to his and Carol’s arrest at the Red Squirrel Road blockade; a time when he proudly remembered discovering theTAA flag flying from the Camp Wanapitei flag pole. Happily he spent his last weeks at his much-loved Camp Wanapitei, holding court at the Chateau and filling his soul with the bounties of the community he helped create and the beauty and familiarity of the land he felt at one with. After an extraordinarily full life, his spirit now lies at the marge of his last portage, with peace for company.
A Celebration of Life willbe held at Trent University inOctober 2019 (date TBA) and at Camp Wanapitei’s Community Weekend, summer of 2020. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donationsto the newly endowed Bruce W. Hodgins Graduate Scholarship Fund at Trent University or to theTaylor Statten Camping Bursary Fund. Condolences may be made online at
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1931 – 2019

Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Bruce

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Death notice for the town of: Peterborough, Province: Ontario

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