COUTTS, Ronald Thomson



On August 19, 2017 Dr. R.T. (Ron) Coutts passed away peacefully, surrounded by family. Ron was born and educated in Glasgow, Scotland. After a brief tenure in Sunderland England, he emigrated to Saskatoon (U of Saskatchewan) with his wife Sheenah and young family in 1963. He moved to Edmonton in 1966 to begin his 30-year career as a professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Alberta. Dr. Coutts was a highly regarded researcher and lecturer. He was director or co-director of 66 graduate students and of 28 post-doctoral fellows, and author or co-author of 348 refereed manuscripts and comprehensive reviews.

He earned the title of Distinguished University Professor in 1983, and subsequently Distinguished University Professor Emeritus when he officially retired in 1996. Other notable professional accomplishments include: Doctor of Science University of Strathclyde Glasgow 1976, president of the Association of the Academic Staff (AASUA) 1978-79, honorary Professor of Psychiatry U of A 1979, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada 1981, and member of the U of A Board of Governors 1982-85. To many U of A pharmacy students from the 60’s to the 90’s, he was perhaps best known as the passionate and engaging lecturer with the Scottish accent.

Outside of academia, Ron was a keen golfer and was a member of the Windermere Golf and Country Club for almost 40 years. The Tuesday/Thursday gang said, “he always played to his handicap”. His family fondly remembers his love of puzzles, music, poetry and foreign languages. He would often be heard whistling, singing or effortlessly reciting several verses of Robert Burns or Shakespeare. He had a knack with young kids and his grandchildren were drawn to his riddles, stories and sense of humor.

Lament in rhyme, lament in prose,

Wi’ saut tears trickling down your nose;

Our Bardie’s fate is at a close,

                   Past a’ remead!

(Robert Burns)

In Ron’s memory, donations to the Alzheimer’s Society would be appreciated by the family. In accordance with Ron’s wishes, a private family service has occurred. Ron’s family would like to say a special thank you to the staff of Rehab and Retreat Senior Care Specialists Ltd.

Alzheimer’s Society of Edmonton, 10531 Kingsway Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 4K1





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Nuzhat Tam-Zaman

I am deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Coutts passing! He may be no longer with us but his legacy shall remain forever! I will always remember his fantastic lectures and his contribution during my grad studies! He always had time for his students! I have experienced his kindness in many occasions which I will never forget! Dr. Coutts shall remain in our hearts and in our minds forever! May he rest in peace!

Yun K. Tam

It is sad to learn about the passing of a valuable and respected colleague, a good friend and a golf fanatic. Ron was instrumental in hiring me to the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, U. of Alberta. We worked together for 20 years until I started a business. Ron will be forever missed. May he rest in peace.

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