Dr. Glyn Owen Pritchard
Glyn peacefully passed away on July 8, 2020, a few months short of his eighty-ninth birthday with his wife Jean by his side. Glyn was born in Bangor, Wales and moved with his family to Altrincham where he experienced life in England during WWII including seeing a war plane shot down, bomb shelters, wearing a gas mask at school and food rationing. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Manchester in 1955 and left England to work at the Research Council in Ottawa. He took a teaching position at the Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario, where he met his life-long friend Dr. John Dacey who recommended him for a position at UC Santa Barbara.
Glyn moved to Santa Barbara in 1958 and joined UCSB as a Postdoctoral Scholar and then as a
Professor in the department of Chemistry. During his 30-year tenure in the department he taught a variety of chemistry courses, including Environmental Chemistry courses he established. Glyn played a central role in developing the department’s graduate program and was graduate advisor for many years. He had an active research program with more than 60 scientific publications as well as serving as the chair of the department for nine years in the 70’s. He had many friends and colleagues and mentored dozens of students. After he retired in 1991, he was recalled to assist with the construction of PSB North and renovation of the existing Chemistry building due to his expertise and knowledge about the department and their labs and equipment.
Glyn returned to Kingston in the summers to teach chemistry to the cadets at RMC. His teaching position came with officer status which allowed him access to the Officer’s Mess where he met Jean, his wife of almost 60 years. He convinced her to marry him and to travel 3,000 miles to Santa Barbara in 1960 where they bought a home and started a family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Owen and Lillian and by his brother Huw and his sister Olwen. He is survived by his wife, Jean and his daughters, Lynne, Megan and Bronwyn and his grandchildren, Emma, Connor and Griffith as well as nieces and nephews Karen, David, Howard, Michael and Rueth and Jean’s 11 siblings and their families. Glyn and Jean’s many trips to Ontario and Vancouver over the years created close and memorable relationships with our Canadian family.
His grandchildren’s memories of their Taid include playing Candyland with Emma, hoops, chess
and pirates with Connor and Griffith and reading them books about animals. Glyn was a playful and interested grandfather and his grandchildren loved his quick wit and “punny” jokes. And while he never owned a pet, he was also a wonderful Taid to the many pets that joined our family. It seemed like they always came home a few pounds heavier after a stay with Taid due to the many treats he insisted they needed.
In school, Glyn played soccer and cricket and continued to play when he moved to Santa Barbara. He was the life of the party and the first on the dance floor. He was known for his limericks, whether being able to recite many from memory or those written by him for the occasion. He enjoyed a run on the beach with friends and played golf even though he said he had a “cricket” swing. He loved all kinds of music; bagpipes were a sentimental favorite and more than one dinner party at their home ended with Amazing Grace and Danny Boy on the stereo. A good glass of wine, shared with friends and family was a great source of pleasure for him.
Glyn was a true success story. He left England with the proverbial $25.00 in his pocket and through his hard work made a comfortable life far away from where he was born and raised. Glyn was sensible and responsible and he provided well for his family and was always available when we needed his help.
Please raise your glass and make a toast to Glyn and if you would like, a donation in his name to your favorite charity or cause.
A memorial will be planned for a later date.