Obituaries : reported in Bangoriad 2006

Nesta Haf Dolben (neé Owen) 1927-2005

Nesta Haf Owen was born on 8 May near Corwen. In 1945 she obtained a place at Bangor to read Classics but shortly before her final examinations she became seriously ill with T.B. She recovered and returned in 1949 to re-sit her final year and was awarded a BA degree in 1950.

During this year she met her future husband Cyril Dolben who graduated in History and Geography in 1952. They married in 1953 after he completed his PGCE in Bangor. Cyril died in 1969 at the young age of 42.

Nesta returned to work as a supply teacher in Southport in 1968. From 1975 to 1992 she taught French and Latin at Worden Comprehensive School. She was later promoted to Head of Languages and also served as a branch representative of the NASUWT for many years.

Nesta died of lymphoma on the 21 May after a brief and unexpected illness. She is survived by her four children Gwyn, Linda, Alan and William and by her seven grandchildren.

Benjamin Richard Feaver (1914-2005)

Benjamin Feaver came as a mature student to Bangor and graduated in Forestry in 1946. He was appointed to the Forestry Commission and posted to Aberdeenshire where he was in land acquisition and advised private estates. He was awarded a Churchill Studentship in the 50s and spent a year in the USA studying American forestry practice, in particular mechanisation. He rose to Divisional Officer but resigned in the late 50s and joined Joe Harcourt Roberts (Bangor 1947) in running and developing Little Milford Forest Nurseries in Pembrokeshire until his retirement. 

Ben became Chairman of the West Wales Field Society and was for a time a divisional member of the Royal Forestry Society Council. He is survived by his widow Vera and two step-daughters and their children.

Based on obituary provided by P.W.T. Henry

Cynthia Hatfield (neé Williams) 1947-2004

Cynthia Hatfield was a student at the Normal College 1966-1969.  Her teaching career was spent mainly at Ysgol Mair and Blessed Edward Jones High School, both in Rhyl.  She died suddenly whilst on holiday in France in July 2004 and is survived by her husband, Dennis (UCNW, 1964-1967), and two children, Michael and Kathryn.

Gwilym Vaughan Jones

Un o’r Felinheli oedd Gwilym Vaughan Jones a bu farw ddiwedd Ebrill 2005. Er yn deithiwr brwd, adawodd o erioed ei filltir sgwar – yn y Felinheli a Bangor yr ymgartrefodd gydol ei oes.  Collodd ei wraig Winnie, un mis ar ddeg cyn ei farw disyfyd yntau.

Cofir amdano fel organydd medrus iawn Capel Tŵr Gwyn ym Mangor Uchaf.  Yn Awst 2000 daeth yn Drysorydd Cymdeithas Cyn-fyfyrwyr Bangor, ac roedd wrth ei fodd yn gwneud y gwaith yn fanwl a gofalus.

Roedd Gwilym Vaughan yn gymeriad unigryw. Yn annwyl, hoffus a brwdfrydig – boed ef o blaid neu yn erbyn y mater dan sylw.

Chwith fu ei golli o’n plith mor sydyn.

Crynodeb gan Ella Owens
Gwilym Vaughan Jones, Honorary Treasurer of the Old Students’ Association passed away in April 2005.

Crynodeb gan Ella Owens
Gwilym Vaughan Jones, Honorary Treasurer of the Old Students’ Association passed away in April 2005.

Rev Richard Jones 1919-2005

Richard Jones was born in Betws Garmon and raised in Waunfawr. He graduated from Bangor with a BSc in chemistry in 1939 and went to work for Celanese in Derby, where he became a lay-preacher during the war.

He then worked for Shell in Ellesmere Port, became a lecturer in Liverpool and in 1947 he was elected a deacon in Anfield Road Church. In 1955 he gained his masters degree in theology at Mansfield College and he became minister of Hyfrydle, Holyhead. Five years later he became minister of Charing Cross Welsh Chapel in London where he met his wife Dorothy, a sister at Charing Cross Hospital.

Married in 1968, they moved to Cardigan where sons Huw and Deiniol were born, but in 1972 Mr Jones took up a teaching post at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan, Abergele. He then became minister in Trefnant, but was still a supply teacher at Ysgol John Bright, Llandudno and Ysgol Glan Clwyd, St Asaph.

His proudest moments came when he baptised his five grandchildren.

Ruth Elizabeth Jones (neé Hobbs) 2005

I first met Ruth Hobbs in October 1951, in our second year in the School of Agriculture, UCNW, Bangor, one of only two girls in the year.

Ruth was a totally committed student. In final year she qualified for the Honours year but decided not to take it. Instead she went as farm administrator and accountant to the University College farm for a year. With her parents owning a Welsh Black cattle stud she took a particular interest in the University’s Welsh Black stud and in practical farming activities as well as the academic side of Agriculture.

My memories of Ruth will be of a lovely lady, a committed student, of impeccable integrity and as a lover of life.
Based on an obituary by Professor Haydn Lloyd Davies

Derek A Ratcliffe 1929-2005

One of the greatest nature conservationists and field naturalists of the modern age died suddenly en route to his annual ornithological and botanical expedition in the far north.

Born in London in 1929, he grew up in Carlisle. His earliest passion was for butterflies and moths; gradually it became a passion for birds, on which he became a world authority.

In 1947 Derek went to Sheffield University, where he took a first class honours degree in botany. He started out studying zoology, but switched to botany having fallen under the spell of the brilliant botanist, Professor Roy Clapham. He moved to Bangor University for his PhD which was awarded in 1954. His thesis detailed the mountain vegetation of Snowdonia – a work which to this day is still used to study the impact of pollution in the mountains.

Thomas Idris Rees O.B.E. 1918-2005

Tom Rees was born in South Wales, educated locally and graduated in agriculture and forestry at UCNW in 1939 where he also met his future wife Betty, a physics undergraduate. He joined the Colonial Forest Service in 1940 and was posted to southern Nigeria. Shortly afterwards he was called to the Colours and Commissioned into the West African Frontier Force at Kaduna. With the loss of Malaya, the shortage of rubber became acute and, unusually, Tom was released from the Army and put in charge of a scheme to harvest wild rubber from the Nigerian Forest Reserves.

Following his discharge, he was promoted to Senior Assistant Conservator of Forests posts in Western Nigeria. He retired from the Service in 1959 and was appointed air photo interpreter to the Forestry and Land Use Section of the Directorate of Overseas Surveys.

In 1962 Tom was engaged in a joint venture with FAO investigating the position of forest inventory work in British Guiana, leading to a period of field work in that country to initiate a forest inventory. In 1966 collaboration with the UN Special Fund Agency followed with the development of proposals for a forestry development project in Jamaica, implemented by Tom between 1968 and 1971. In the late 1960s he was also involved in work in the British Solomon Islands, New Hebrides, Fiji and in British Honduras.

In 1972 Tom became acting Director of the Land Resources Department of the Directorate of Overseas Surveys until mid 1974. He then became head of the newly created Department of Planning and Scientific Coordination and continued in this role until he retired in May 1978. He was awarded the O.B.E. in 1975.

Tom Rees was an outstanding officer in the Colonial Forest Service and a man of great integrity. He is survived by his son and daughter and by four grandsons.
Based on an obituary provided by P.W.T. Henry

Thomas Adam Sunter 1979 - 2005

Thomas Adam Sunter was killed in a tragic canoeing accident in Dumfries, Scotland on 4th December. He came from Manchester and studied mechanical engineering at Strathclyde University and then completed a teaching qualification at Bangor. He had been a physics teacher at Cockermouth school since September.

John Francis Walker 1929-2004

A native of Crosby, he was evacuated with his family to the Mold in 1940. He took a BSc in Physics at Bangor. He then did research under Professor Edwin Owen and was awarded a PhD in 1953 for work on the Atomic Structures of Metals and Alloys, using the technique of X-ray Diffraction.

After a period with the UK Atomic Energy Authority in Sellafield, he joined the Atomic Energy Canada in 1964 working at Deep River, followed by Pinawa. He returned regularly to North Wales where he loved walking in the Clwydian Hills. 

After retiring he and his wife, Dorothy, visited the Czech Republic in 1990 and 1991 as volunteer teachers of the English Language.

He will be remembered as a quiet, gentle and humorous man. He leaves his wife, children John and Sarah and granddaughters Abigail and Shelby.
Provided by G.I. Williams

John Wholey 1928-2005

A 1952 Forestry graduate, he was appointed to the Colonial Forest Service in Nigeria where he served until 1962 retiring as Conservator of Forests. He then had an appointment in the Planning Department of Norfolk County Council but, finding this unfulfilling, emigrated to Australia and worked for 5 years in New South Wales Forest Service.

He returned to the UK to work for a few years with Staffordshire County Council before joining the Forest Department in Hong Kong. Here he was largely responsible for the conversion of the forest reserves in the New Territories into National Parks and for their subsequent development.

He is survived by his widow, Alice (who accompanied him in all his appointments) and by two sons.
Based on an obituary by P.W.T. Henry

Mansel Williams

Mansel Williams of Bangor was director of education for Caernarfonshire for 26 years, retiring in 1974.

A native of Swansea, he attended Swansea Grammar School and Swansea University gaining an honours degree in Physics. He taught in London for six years and then joined the RAF as a navigator, later becoming an instructor.

In 1946 he was appointed deputy director of education for Caernarfonshire, becoming director two years later. He was closely involved in the work of the Welsh Joint Education Committee and in the University in Bangor.

Mr Williams played an important role in the development of technical education in the county and in setting up both the Caernarfonshire Technical College and Llandudno hotel and catering college, which later merged with Llandrillo Technial College.

He became a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1974.

Nan Wynn Williams

Nan Wynn Williams was Lady President of the Students’ Union in 1963-64. At the age of forty four, she died suddenly but peacefully on August 29 at her home in London.

Nan undertook every task with energy and commitment and her unswerving loyalty to her colleagues made her very special. After graduating and taking her teaching diploma she travelled widely in Europe, the USA, Canada and the Far East and worked in the travel trade. Her presence was pure joy and she will be sadly missed but remembered with affection.
Based on an obituary provided by Euryn Ogwen

Codwyd Baner y Brifysgol er cof am yr aelodau staff canlynol/The University Flag was flown in tribute to the memory of the following members of staff:

Mr Gwyn Thomas

Cyn Gofrestrydd yn y Coleg Normal / Former Coleg Normal Registrar 3 Mehefin/3 June 2005

Mrs Catherine Evans

Aelod o staff yn Llyfrgell yr Ysgol Cerddoriaeth / Member of staff in the Library of the School of Music.20 Mehefin/20 June 2005. 

Dr Anthony Ruston

Cyn Ddarllenydd mewn Mathemateg a ymddeolodd yn 1977/ Former Reader in Mathematics who retired in 1977. 5 Gorffennaf/5 July 2005

Mrs Angela Jones

Aelod o staff yng Ngwasanaethau Gwybodaeth (Adeilad Deiniol) / Member of staff in Information Services (Adeilad Deiniol)  9 Medi/9 September 2005.

Mr Ian Boardman

Aelod o staff yn yr Ysgol Nyrsio, Bydwreigiaeth ac Astudiaethau Iechyd. Member of staff in School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Studies. 15 Medi/15 September 2005.

Mr Geraint James

Cyn-darlithydd y Coleg Normal / Former Lecturer of Coleg Normal.
10 Tachwedd/10 November 2005

Mr Roy Pickard

Cyn-aelod o staff yn yr Ysgol Gwybodeg (Ffiseg) / Former member of staff in the School of Informatics (Physics)
14 Tachwedd/ 14 November 2005