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 Professor Dr Kenneth James McBey. CStJ, CD, BA, BEd, MBA, PhD

Passed away suddenly at his home on June 22nd at the age of 65.

Beloved husband of Betty-Anne for 32 years.  Remembered by his siblings Donald and Roderick McBey.  His parents, who predeceased him, were June Catherine (nee Turner) born in Teulon, Manitoba and Robert James McBey, born in Newmill, Nairnshire, Scotland.  The family grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba until Ken was 10 years old.

Ken was a tenured full professor at York University since 1989.  He was cross-appointed to the School of Human Resource Management (HRM) and the School of Administration studies.  He was a founding member of the Disaster and Emergency Management (DEM) program and continued to lobby vigorously for the promised, fully-funded doctoral program to be established (TBA, it would be a fine legacy).

He earned an honours BA in Political Economy and a BEd from the University of Toronto.  His MBA and PhD were earned from the Shulich School of Business at York University.  He was the author of numerous scholarly journal articles and a text used for HRM accreditation in Canada. He taught graduate and under-graduate courses in human resource management, organizational behaviour, teaching and emergency management.

Ken was a commissioned officer in the Canadian Army reserve.  He began in the Governor’s General Horse Guards, an armoured regiment, until it was realized that he was too tall to command a tank with the hatch closed.  He transferred to the 48th Highlanders of Canada in Toronto and became an infantry officer. He held a wide variety of command and staff appointments and rose through the ranks to command the Regiment (from 1992 to 1995). Two of his most memorable military events were his honoured duty as Guard Commander for the G7 Economic Summit, Toronto (1988) and as Royal Guard Commander for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Toronto (1984).  He has been a member of the Royal Canadian Legion since 1987.

He served on a number of community and voluntary associations including: the Ennotville Historical Library; the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games; St John Ambulance (both the Fergus-Elora branch and the Ontario council) and the Canadian Infantry Association.

Ken’s many awards include the J Reginald Adams Gold Medal in Political Science and Economics from the University of Toronto; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal; the Canada 125th Anniversary Medal; the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal; appointment to the Order of St John; and the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD).

He has touched the lives of many in the university, the community, the military, and of course, his family and friends. He will be deeply and sorrowfully missed.


Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 7, 2022 from 12:30 PM- 2:30 PM at the Graham A. Giddy Funeral Home, 37 Church St. East, Elora, with a funeral service being held at Elora United Church, 75 Geddes St, Elora beginning at 2:30 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (Mount Hope, Ontario) or the Scottish Studies Foundation (University of Guelph).