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Inventor’s concept for a roadside guardrail became essential component of Canadarm’s positioning system. (Karen Bell)
Inventor’s concept for a roadside guardrail became essential component of Canadarm’s positioning system. (Karen Bell)

Obituary

Lloyd Pinkney was a brilliant thinker who was ‘never wrong’ Add to ...

Years later, Chris Pinkney’s university friends from Queen’s would wangle weekend invitations to the house so Lloyd Pinkney could explain complex math and business concepts to them.

When the Pinkneys would visit Blairmore, Mr. Pinkney would sit down with his sister Thelma’s son Fred Bradley, with whom he was very close, and talk politics for hours. “He was always looking for someone to have a conversation with,” Mr. MacLean says.

While Mr. Pinkney sometimes came across as a brilliant and eccentric scientist, everyone who got to know him quickly discovered he was equally kind, generous and never condescending, even when sharing his extensive knowledge.

When Chris Pinkney brought home Mimi Wood, his future wife, for the first time, when the two were doing MBAs at Western, she was studying for a huge exam in operations management. Mr. Pinkney took her textbook and stayed up all night reading it. He then spent the entire next day with her, talking her through the challenging information. “He always wanted to help,” Chris Pinkney says.

Even in the stressful climate of working with others on tight deadlines at the NRC, Mr. Pinkney stayed calm. “He never got angry at anyone. And in our industry that was hard to do,” Mr. MacLean says.

His wife also recalls him most as a clever man who was very easy to live with. “Even when I wanted to fight with him, he’d just say, ‘I know, I know. We’ll work it out, don’t you worry about it.’”

Mr. Pinkney leaves his wife, Mary Gayle; son, Chris; daughters Mary Ellen Chapman and Laurie Pinkney; and his nine grandchildren.

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