On Sunday, May 21, 2023, moments before 11 am, Steve Mockford died. Husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, soldier, photographer, rabble-rouser, student, teacher, mentor, friend, and all-around great guy; Steve packed many lives into his short 69-years on this planet.
Born in Victoria, BC, on February 13, 1954, to Fred and Dody; he was the big brother to his four siblings, Don (Joanne), Sue, Jim (Liz), and Ken. After a very colourful (some might say misspent, others adventurous) youth, he met the love of his life Lorraine, they married in 1972. Their fifty-year union produced three children, Damion (Sheila), Willow, and Tiffany (Rob).
Steve served nineteen years in the Canadian Armed Forces, first as an infantryman in the PPCLI before going on to become a photo-tech in the RCAF. Taking an early retirement in 1991, he then pursued an academic career in Biology. With a BSC in biology from Acadia University followed by a PHD in molecular genetics from Dalhousie University, he began teaching as a professor at Acadia University. Serving two terms as acting department head, his long-term commitment to the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI), and his endless contributions to the Canadian Herpetological Society stand out as highlights of his fifteen-year career. Steve’s research contributed to the field of herpetology as he helped mould the minds of the many students who passed through his classroom. Retiring once again in 2019, he spent his time, camera in hand, chasing the perfect sunrise.
He was immensely proud of his four grandchildren; Rain, Aunaka, Cole (Chelsee), and Jessi. He was lovingly known to them as Big Guy, but in reality, the number of people who saw him as their Big Guy may be too many to ever count. Since he was taken from us far too soon and if our lives are measured by the lives we touch, Steve lived a hell of a long one.
Steve’s final words were words to remind us all “to do collective good.” And so we shall.
There will be a private internment with a Celebration of Life planned for the fall. The family would appreciate, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Steve Mockford Memorial Student Research Award care of the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute. Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Funeral Home, 34 Coldbrook Village Park Dr., Coldbrook, NS, B4R 1B9 (902-679-2822).