FENTON, Dr. Mark Macdonald Ph.D. (Honours), P. Geo.

Mark Fenton died suddenly and peacefully, at his home

Saturday afternoon, August 7, 2021, at the age of 75.

He was an only son, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 1946,

to loving parents Margaret (Peggy) and John Hoysted Fenton

M.B.E. His father was in the Airforce and subsequently Mark lived in

many places and attended many different schools across

Canada; the last one in Pinawa, Manitoba. Mark’s first two post-secondary degrees in geology were from the University of Manitoba before moving on to University of Western Ontario.


Survived by his loving wife and soul mate Thecla Fenton, his

admiring stepsons Justin and Gregory, his cherished

grandsons Fenton (10), Everett (7), and Bromley (2).


Mark was a humble man, never boastful, ethical to a fault with

the marked characteristic of gentle kindness. He was an

exemplary role model for his stepsons who in turn honored,

respected and loved him. We were so proud of him and so

fortunate to call him ours. He will be so missed and never



Retirement was not easy for Mark, his whole adult life thus far

was dedicated to geology. Gradually he started to take an

interest in the house and garden and found joy in it. Following

a number of unsuccessful seasons, this year, for the first time

his vegetable garden was lush and productive. He reached a

stage of contentment and took pleasure working around his

home. An avid reader since childhood, iPad, books, and

science magazines were his constant companions.


After graduating with a PhD in Quaternary Geology from the

University of Western Ontario, Mark had a 43 year career with

the several iterations of the Alberta Geological Survey. During

his four decades as a dedicated geologist, Mark contributed

significantly to the knowledge and understanding of Alberta’s

geology through his numerous publications and extensive

involvement with geology at the regional, national and

international level. He was generous with his time and

knowledge and was an active member of the Edmonton

Geological Society, the Geological Association of Canada, the

International Quaternary Association and a member in good

standing with the Association of Professional Engineers and

Geoscientists of Alberta. Mark also taught a series of evening

geology classes at the University of Alberta. In addition to his

many presentations at professional meetings, Mark was an

enthusiastic champion of public outreach and ran field trips

and public presentations in Alberta. He was involved in the

development of natural science programming with the new

Royal Alberta Museum. His long career culminated with the Quaternary Geology Map

of Alberta, a major project that collated data for the surface

deposits in the province. He retired in 2017. During his

career, Mark was awarded several medals, including the

Committee of Provincial and Territorial Geologists Award, the

Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton Award for Science

and Technology, and the 2010 Provincial Geologist’s Medal

to name a few. In 2018, Mark was awarded the E.R. Ward

Neale Medal by the Geological Association of Canada for

sustained outstanding public outreach efforts in sharing Earth

Science with Canadians.

His enthusiasm and constant curiosity for all aspects of

natural sciences were contagious. A lover of wine and good

food, Mark was always a genial host and great

conversationalist. His friends, students, and former colleagues

will miss him dearly.

Messages and reminiscences may be sent to www.serenity.ca

A memorial service will take place on 19 August 2021 at 2pm

At Serenity Funeral Services.

10129 Princess Ave; NW

Edmonton. AB T5G 0X9


** Masks will be provided, and Guests are kindly asked to

wear one ** Donations may be made to a charity of

one’s choice or to: The Mazankowski Atrial Fibrillation

Program, University Hospital Foundation Donor Office

W.M.C.,8440-112 Street EDMONTON. AB T6G 2B7

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Tribute wall - a place to share your memories and condolences

Charlotte Mougeot

Dear Thecla, I am so sorry for your loss, and for Justin, Greg and your grandchildren’s loss. I am grateful that his passing was in his happy place, peaceful and painless. I will for ever remember Mark’s kindness, his patience, his enthusiasm for all aspects of natural sciences, his inclusivity, his appreciation and respect for the contribution of all team members, no matter their title or position. I am sure that I am only of many whose life Mark touched with his generosity, kindness, and zest for knowledge. Mark was a natural teacher which led to his many achievements with public outreach. He made such a difference in my life. We will all miss this gentle giant, his enthusiasm for knowledge and teaching, his love of wine and good conversation, his avid interest in the world around him and his ability to make one feel special and worthy.

Jim and Shirley

Dear Thecla,
We were in shock after hearing of Mark’s sudden passing. We ended up reflecting on the joyous ski trips into Lake Ohara and the wonderful times in Edmonton – the food, the wine, and the conversation always so delightful. We offer our deepest condolences for your loss.
Jim and Shirley

Kate Wallace

I came upon Mark’s obituary while looking at my son’s. I worked with Mark at the Alberta Research Council – in another chapter of life. He was a lovely man who cared passionately about his profession. Virtual hugs and sympathy to Thecla and family.

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