Neil Bliss

Obituary of Neil Welbourne Bliss

It is with great sadness that the family of Neil Welbourne Bliss, aged 88, of Bedford, Nova Scotia announces his passing on May 29th, 2021 at Victoria General in Halifax. Born in London, England on September 3rd, 1932, Neil attended Kent College (1941-1951) in Canterbury and was evacuated with the school to Cornwall during the War. Neil captained the school’s 1st XV rugby team, athletics team and rose to Head Boy in his final year before joining the Royal Air Force where he served as an air navigator with 202 Squadron, Coastal Command. Neil went on to complete his B.A. in Geology at John’s College, Cambridge University (1953-56). Known for his athletic abilities, Neil was a member of the Cambridge Athletic Club, broke the University record for the 440 yard dash and earned his full colours in 1954 – GDBO. Neil moved to Rhodesia to work with the Rhodesian Geological Survey from 1959 to 1969 with a sabbatical in the middle to attend and complete his M.Sc. in Geology at McGill University in Montreal, where he met and married his late wife Judy in 1965. Neil and family returned to Montreal in 1969 where he completed a Ph.D. at McGill and worked for Alcan International for 24 years including 18 as their Chief Geologist. It was here he became well recognized and respected around the world for his knowledge and understanding of bauxite geology in the aluminum production process. Neil passed on his love of the outdoors and the mountains to his children, and the lesson that on the mountains, as in life, the summit was always “over the next hill”. Likewise, his appreciation of aviation and devotion to service is evident in the family today. His passion for sports also lives on, as we will continue to watch The Boat Race, cricket and rugby matches with his enthusiasm, and with Scotland vs England rugby allegiances split amongst the family, proudly mimicking Neil’s ancestry. Neil is survived by his children, Bryan, Ian (Christine), Colin and Kathryn (Scott); his grandchildren, William (Kyrstin) Tyler, Samantha, and Crystal (Michel); and his great-grandchildren, Hunter, and Jack. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Judy; parents, William, and Ann; and his eldest daughter, Jenny. A Celebration of Neil and Judy’s lives will be held at a future date when the pandemic restrictions allow for such events. The family would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the nurses and CTA's at the Victoria General 6B, who helped dad and us through his final days.
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