Dear Friends and
It is with great
sadness that we inform you that Nonita Yap passed away on
Saturday 19 May 2018.
Many of you have met
Nonita through CIDA consultancies, CASID conferences, or through
her teaching at the University of Guelph over the past 26 years
in the Rural Planning and Development Program. Nonita was born
in the Philippines and emigrated to Canada in 1970 to complete a
PhD in Chemistry at the University of Alberta. Nonita was an
active supporter of liberation movements and was a CUSO
volunteer in Mozambique from 1979 to 1981. During the 1980s she
worked as a development consultant and for one year as a staff
member of the National Round Table on the Environment and the
Economy. In 1992 she took up a faculty appointment at the
University of Guelph. Over the years she maintained an active
agenda of development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin
America. She officially retired in August 2017 but was
anticipating the start of a new project SSHRC funded project on
the environmental and social impacts of mining on Indigenous
communities in Northern Canada and the Philippines.
Nonita was an
inspiration to everyone who worked with her. She was a socially
committed, tireless, energetic, intellectual and professional
who never lost her enthusiasm for work. She loved to imagine new
projects. Each one devoted to making change for the better. This
enthusiasm carried on into her retirement with hardly a pause.
However, to us she was first and foremost a Loving Wife and
Mother. Words cannot sufficiently describe what she will forever
mean to us.
It may be of some
solace to you to know that she spent her final weeks enjoying
her retirement by volunteering for CESO in Ecuador and Bolivia.
Her service in Bolivia had just been completed. The last we
heard from her, she was extremely happy with the work she had
done and the genuine appreciation expressed by the colleagues
with whom she had worked. She was doing what she Loved most:
finding ways to use her vast knowledge and experience to help
others. She suffered a stroke some time on Saturday evening 15
April. She never regained consciousness. For three weeks we
remained with her in Santa Cruz, Bolivia before she was stable
enough to be air lifted to Hamilton on 10 May. On Thursday 17
May she was moved from the intensive care unit at Hamilton
General Hospital to the intensive care unit at Guelph General
Hospital. She passed away on Saturday 19 May.
In the coming months
we will find a suitable way to celebrate Nonita's life. We will
find a way for the many people whose lives she touched around
the world to honour her memory from a distance.
For the time being
however, we are taking time to mourn this immeasurable loss.
John (husband) and
Dr.John F. Devlin, Associate Professor,
Coordinator, Rural Studies PhD Program
School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
University of Guelph, Tel: 519-824-4120 Ext.52575 / Fax: 519-767-1686
SEDRD Website: https://www.uoguelph.ca/sedrd/
My Website: http://www.jdevlin.net
Study International Planning and Development at the U of G
Study Canadian Planning and Development at the U of G