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July 15, 1947 - June 5, 2023
In loving memory ~
With sadness and love, the family of John Nightingale wishes to announce his passing on June 5, 2023, in Vernon, B.C. John is survived by his wife Jacqueline (Jacquie) Gijssen, his children David, Katherine (Katy) and Elizabeth (partner KC), and grandchildren Isaac, Gavin, Clara, Gus, Frank and Tilly. John was born in Boulder, Colorado and raised in La Grande, Oregon. With a BA in Biology from Eastern Oregon University, a MS Fisheries Biology and Ph.D. Physiology (salmon) from the University of Washington, John went on to hold many leadership positions including at the New York Wildlife Conservation Society / New York Aquarium, the Seattle Aquarium, the Maui Ocean Centre, and Bios Inc. In 1993 he moved to Vancouver, B.C., to lead the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and the global conservation organization Ocean Wise. More recently John was involved with Canada's federal agencies, POLAR Knowledge Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, in addition to volunteering with various Vernon community groups. Passionate about nature from the outset, he became enthralled with the world's oceans. John was one of those people who truly made a difference in this world bringing to life his vision of a world in which oceans are healthy and flourishing. At his core, he was both a professional biologist and a superb communicator inspiring children to become marine scientists, citizens to become volunteers and donors, and governments to enact policies protecting marine mammals, fisheries, and ecosystems.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to: The Nightingale Bursary in Ocean Engagement honouring John's legacy in ocean conservation.
The Nightingale Scholarship for the Arts at Eastern Oregon University, where John studied, and where both parents were professors (Dean of Humanities / Chairman of Arts Department, and Dean of Women). EOU Foundation, Inlow Hall 212, La Grande, Oregon, 97850 USA.