Dr. Richard (Dick) B. Stein
A life well lived.
Dr. Richard (Dick) B. Stein. Dick is remembered by friends, family, and colleagues as a decent man who treated everyone with respect, fairness, and kindness. He attended MIT and Oxford University both on full scholarship. In 1968 he moved to Edmonton with his wife Sue and young children Ellie and Eric. Once there, Dick helped build the department of physiology at the University of Alberta. He was a professor at U of A for 50 years before retiring in June 2018. Papers from his final projects on Parkinson's Disease are still winding their way to publication.
Dick was proud of his mentorship of generations of neuroscientists. Dick had the vision that multidisciplinary research was needed to answer difficult questions. He co-founded the Neuroscience group now the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute at the University of Alberta which supports over 150 researchers. His research and inventions have helped thousands with neurologic and mobility challenges.
Dick was also proud of his family. Losing his own parents at age 16, he threw himself into parenting and his family doing fun activities every weekend. As well, he enjoyed ballroom dancing with Sue and wildflower photography. He jogged, rode, or walked to work almost every day of his career. He enjoyed cross country skiing and introduced it to many of the foreign students working with him. Dick and Sue traveled to almost 100 countries and Dick said recently that he had had a good and interesting life.
During the past 2 years, Dick has been limited by Parkinson's Disease and associated conditions. As a resident of the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre, he has received love and care from the staff on 5AB. They have become our extended family and we thank them for their kindness and devotion. During COVID they have gone over and above risking their own safety to keep our family connected.
An amazing group of former students worked as a team to support Dick and the family over the past 2 ½ years. They enabled Dick to keep walking including outside walks and brought him homemade gluten-free cookies. They helped Sue and Dick create a ballroom dance routine which was presented at the Edmonton General in March 2019. You can watch this inspiring performance at www.thevitalbeat.ca/news/couples-dance-performance-captures-lifetime-love/
The "Dream Team" as we call them have supported our family until Dick's last day and beyond. Thank you to Dirk Everaert, Su Ling Chong, Jaynie Yang, Jacques Bobet, and Kelvin Jones.
When COVID entered the Edmonton General, Dick was isolated from friends and family for 3 months. We wondered if he would survive. But he did survive, never complaining. He relished his phone as a connection to the outside world. The lockdown lifted on July 23 and we had three months together again taking Dick outside for visits. When COVID again hit the EGCCC, Dick became ill within days and tested positive for COVID. He fought for several days longer than expected but succumbed on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
We look forward to having a ceremony to celebrate his life sometime in the future and will announce closer to the time.
Thinking of others until the end, Dick's wish in recent years was to create a bursary to support future neuroscientists. Donations may be made to the "University of Alberta" noting your donation is made in memory of Dr. Richard Stein to support the Richard B Stein Neuroscience Graduate Student Fund.
Remembering Dr. Richard (Dick) B. Stein
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