An Educational Trust Fund has been established by the collaboration for Andre's children. Donations can be sent to
The following is a eulogy for Andre presented by Art McDonald at
Andre's funeral on behalf of the collaboration and a "Lives Lived"
obituary for Andre.
Andre was very good at experimental science. I have often described him to colleagues as a "100% person". Everything he did was done to completion, starting with innovative concepts and continuing to the really finished product that did its intended job... 100% and nothing less. He was also a leader - a person recognized by his colleagues as someone whose infectious enthusiasm and strong example should be followed. He approached every project completely, organized the work and led the team by example, with the most difficult tasks done enthusiastically by him because he really loved what he was doing.
Andre got things done in whatever way was necessary. Christian Nally, a student with him at Sudbury, sent a note to Rosalie that described affectionately a discussion he had with Andre in a Canadian Tire Store as they sought parts for an experimental repair. With characteristic wit Andre said "The two most important tools of the experimental physicist are the car and the cell phone."
Andre developed the central calibration device for the SNO experiment for his doctoral thesis and carried out major analyses essential for SNO's success as a Post Doctoral Fellow. His legacy in science will go on as his contributions are used every day by his colleagues at SNO who remember him fondly and miss him greatly.
A 100% person in all things: as a scientist, a colleague, a friend, a father, a husband and a family man.
Canada has lost a great and beloved scientist.
Andre came from a family who created an environment where education came naturally. He was raised in a stimulating environment, by loving parents who fostered his natural curiosity and provided him with ample learning opportunities. He was very advanced for his age and by age 17, Kant and Nietzsche were his bedtime favourites. Andre was very proud of his Belgian ancestry and visited his family's homeland many times. He and his sister loved to travel and shared experiences during his teenage years ... from visiting the top of the Alps to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.
He studied at the University of Toronto, and later earned an M. Sc. and Ph. D. in experimental physics from Queen's University in Kingston where he met his future wife, Rosalie McKenna. A mutual friend thought that they would be perfect for each other because they both loved old movies and arranged for them to meet. It was February 9th and love at first sight. The clincher came when Andre said "get it, got it, good!" and she immediately recognized the line from an old Danny Kaye movie. That year, for Valentine's Day, Rosalie sent Andre a single red rose.
When they were married, their reception was held in the grand 'train' room in Ottawa's Museum of Science and Technology. It was perfect. In the background was man's testament to our quest for knowledge and in the foreground, like an old movie set, Doris Day singing Que sera, sera, were two young lovers, alighting from the train, beginning life's journey together.
That life journey soon included fatherhood. He was patient and loving with Patrick and Michael. He read to the boys each day, passing on his love of reading. In the fall of 2002, when his job was finished in Los Alamos, Rosalie and Andre were thrilled to be returning to Canada so that they and their boys and their yet unborn child could be closer to their families and Andre could be one of the leaders in the development of Canada's new international underground science facility.
Andre loved science and he was particularly good at experimental science. Everything he did was done to completion, starting with innovative concepts and continuing to the finished product that did its intended job...100% and nothing less. He was regarded as one of the very best young particle astrophysicists in the world. He played a central role in the success of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), thus contributing directly to our current knowledge of the universe. Andre developed the central calibration device for the SNO experiment for his doctoral thesis at Queen's University, carried out major analyses essential for SNO's success as a Post Doctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory and presented the major results from SNO at the American Physical Society meetings in April 2002. His legacy in science continues as his contributions are used every day by his colleagues at SNO.
Andre lived by his personal motto "L'espoir fait vivre" (hope gives life). He loved to listen to his mother's inspiring stories of Grandmother Lea's use of this motto during their fight to survive World War II. Throughout his difficult struggle with cancer, Andre maintained a balance between his intellectual pursuits and caring for his spiritual and physical self. Two days before his untimely death, he was reading articles that summarized our current knowledge of the universe from its most microscopic regions to its farthest distances. Later on, he watched an inspirational video about nature with his son. He and his son Patrick talked about how they would climb mountains and build bridges over the rivers.
On February 7, his family, including some from Belgium, friends-old and new, and colleagues from as far as New Mexico, gathered to mourn the passing of a gentle soul and a great scientist. His coffin was adorned with a single red rose.
Nancy is Andre's sister, Art was his thesis advisor, Patty is his sister-in-law.