Dr. Anne Louise Toby passed away peacefully on April 7th, 2022, at the age of 71. She lived courageously right to the end.
Anne is deeply missed by her sister Pamela (Rob), Brother Michael, stepsons Stuart (Cathy) and Graeme (Andrea), precious grandsons, Alex and Sam, her wonderful nieces and nephews, and canine companions, Bunker and Velcro, who brought her life and joy. She is predeceased by her parents and husband, Lin.
Anne was born on November 11th, 1950, to Ray and Dorothy Toby, in West Vancouver. By 14 years old, inspired by a high school teacher, and driven by a recent diagnosis of diabetes to advance scientific research, Anne knew she wanted to be a geneticist. Anne carried this passion for the sciences her entire life, attending Simon Fraser University where she secured her B.Sc., Masters, and Ph.D. in Genetics. During the final years of her PhD, she met and married Lin Kemp.
Anne’s life purpose was to give back, beginning with her hobby and love of swimming in teaching children to swim in the Red Cross Program at the family pool. After graduating with her PhD in 1979, Anne began teaching and researching at Simon Fraser University in the Biology Department. She joined the Co-operative Education Program in 1986, placing hundreds of science students into work terms each year. Anne involved herself in many charitable works during this time as well, in 1990 developing the Mentorship Co-op Program to pair university students with high school seniors for workplace experience. She was one of the most active participants in Science World’s Scientists in the Schools program as well as overseeing SFU’s Mini-University, a summer science camp for 10-to-14-year-old children.
Anne also had an incredible gift of poetry writing, many children’s poems also sharing her gift with family and friends at weddings and special events. She eventually published her children’s poetry collection in the book, Seeking.
In the mid 1990s, Anne and Lin began building a unique, West Coast inspired home designed by her father. Due to ongoing chronic disease, Anne began transitioning from work to life in Qualicum Beach, officially retiring in 2015. Anne began to shift her priorities to enjoying her new paradise in Qualicum. She volunteered to teach, golfed, maintained her home, gardened, and socialized with her growing group of friends and her family.
Anne never lost her passion to teach science and became active as a volunteer teacher at Vancouver Island University’s Elder College in 2010 where she taught and chaired the board from 2014 to 2021. Anne continued to inspire the learning of science in others which grew many rich friendships. Anne was a compassionate listener, supporter, and encourager to her students and friends. One of Anne’s Elder College students sums up the feeling of many of her students “I admire you and am glad to call you my teacher and friend.”
Anne, as well as Lin, continue to give back as they create post-secondary educational funds for both grandchildren and donate to SFU for the creation of a scholarship for students who excel in the Biology or Molecular Biology and Biochemistry undergraduate programs. Anne, your enthusiastic teaching of science, and approach to life have impacted many hundreds of students who will continue to impact the world around them. From your family, we love you and we will miss you.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the house on June 4, 2022, from 2 to 4. Anne loved inspirational quotes and we are creating a memory video using quotes from friends and family – please write a short 1 or 2 sentence quote about how Anne has impacted your life. Contact Graeme at email@example.com to RSVP, with any questions, and send your quotes.
Lives Cherished and Celebrated
To send flowers to Anne's family, please visit our floral store.