In Memoriam: Daniel J. Belliveau

Jennifer Irwin

Warm of heart and cool under pressure. Calm competence. Beloved. So beloved was Dr. Daniel J. Belliveau. Dan was many things to many people.

First and foremost, Dan was the adoring and loving spouse to Margaret and father to Xavier. How his eyes would light up at the mention of either name; Dan was in love with his family. Quick to smile and let out a laugh, and equally quick to offer a sympathetic ear, Dan devoutly embodied the tenets of his deep and unwavering faith. He was unfailingly kind, humble, fair, empathetic, compassionate, non-judgmental, respectful, and an exceptionally thorough and dedicated worker.

Dan loved people. The Belliveaus opened their home to faculty and staff on multiple occasions over the years, hosting seasonal activities for the kids, serving an abundance of delicious food, and providing goodie bags containing the best homemade jam in southwestern Ontario. In the summer, Dan enjoyed being behind the tiki bar and was typically clad in a Hawaiian shirt while he ensured all thirsts were quenched and every story had an attentive ear.  The shirts were, in fact, a suitable match for his vibrant personality. Dan always gave rapt attention and genuine interest to every social interaction, be it with a long-time friend or a brand-new colleague. Dan ensured that everyone left their conversations with him knowing that they mattered. Experiencing travel with friends and family also mattered to Dan; he joyfully devoted time and energy to planning annual vacations and creating lifelong memories of their collective adventures.

To know Dan was to like Dan. He epitomized personal and professional integrity and was deeply appreciated, respected, and admired throughout his many roles at Western, including Director of the School of Health Studies, President of UWOFA, and Marshal of Convocation. He won the highest university awards for his teaching prowess (The Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching) and his service contributions (The Allan Heinicke Memorial Service Award). In his most recent role as the Dean of Science at St. Francis Xavier University, his beloved alma mater, Dan thrived in navigating each of the many challenges that came his way. He quickly became a beacon of excellence in leadership and friendship. Two university communities are grieving.

In all things, Dan ‘walked the talk’, and if you ever had the opportunity to walk with Dan, you know it was nearly impossible to keep up with him. Perhaps his gait reflected his way of being in the world; purposeful, present, engaged, and energized by whatever lay ahead.

As we individually and collectively grieve the immense loss of Dan within our own lives and the community at large, we do so with incredible gratitude for the time he shared with us and the many gifts he left behind. There can be no doubt that his legacy of wisdom and guidance will live in the memories of his friends, colleagues, and students. He was the consummate teacher in all aspects of his life. And we shall miss him beyond measure.

Beloved. So beloved was Dr. Daniel J. Belliveau.