Devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, host, lifelong learner, climate-change advocate. Born Sept. 14, 1944, in Montreal. Died Oct. 23, 2011, in Edmonton of cancer, aged 67.
Rick Hyndman’s life was a journey, one with many dimensions and many unexpected twists.
He was the third of four children of Bill and Mary Hyndman. Following public school in Edmonton, Calgary and Regina, Rick studied economics at the University of Alberta, graduating in 1966. He continued his education in France and Sweden and at the London School of Economics. In London , he met up with a U of A friend, Teddy Davis. They decided to cash in their plane tickets home and, laughing at their many misadventures, they reached India, where they were married at the Canadian high commission in New Delhi.
Edmonton was home for a while, with Rick working at the University of Alberta, before they moved to Toronto for seven years. Rick completed his PhD in economics at the University of Toronto, and later worked in the private sector, while Teddy taught elementary school. After building up their bank accounts, the footloose couple sold all their worldly possessions and took off for South America. Next they travelled to Kyoto, Japan, to become lay people at a Zen monastery.
In Kyoto, their first child, Midori, was born, which convinced them to come home to live in Edmonton. Rick took a job as a lecturer at the U of A. The family grew by one when William Alexander (Willie) was born.
Rick’s career was an important part of his life. After teaching at U of A, he went to work for the Alberta government, reaching the position of deputy minister of energy. Rick hit his stride in 1997 when he went to work for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers as an adviser on climate change. He held strong views on the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. He walked the talk in his personal life, among other efforts regularly taking the bus between Edmonton and Calgary and using public transit while in Calgary.
As busy as his work, travel and family life were, Rick did not abandon the inner journey that had begun in India and Japan. He was a voracious reader of philosophy and Eastern religions, and he practised yoga and meditated regularly. Always open to the ideas of others, he developed a genuine persona of warmth, tolerance and respect for all.
Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006, Rick reluctantly resigned his position with CAPP in early 2011. In April, he took on the less-demanding role of interim executive director of the Canada School of Energy and Environment. By July, it became clear that he should devote himself to his own well-being with the support of his loving family. Rick was so appreciative of this time with them and delighted in the antics of his 2½-year-old granddaughter. The family continued to travel, host events in various vacation spots and generally live life to the fullest when they could.
By Janet Poyen, Rick’s sister.