Chandler Kirwin

Chandler Kirwin

Saturday, May 31st, 1941 - Thursday, August 22nd, 2019
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Chandler died on August 22, 2019 with the aid of the medical assistance in dying provided by law after a two year journey with cancer. His immediate family were present.

Chandler and his wife Ann, daughters Elizabeth and Meghan, came to Canada in 1980 from the US. They settled on Hog Hill Farm in Rockwood where they ran a 25-sow wiener operation. Chandler taught art history at the University of Guelph, retiring a full professor in 2006.

In addition, to his principal area of interest in Italian art – he published on Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Bernini, among many others – he organized a several catalogues on contemporary Canadian artists including the Drenters Family and Ken Danby.

Chandler was active over the early years in St. Margaret’s School, St. John Anglican Church, The Elora Festival. In the 1990s he became involved in the Bruce Trail. Eventually - - with the leadership of Meghan- - transferring 280 acres of farm land on the Bruce Peninsula to the Bruce Trail Conservancy 2016, as the Otter Lake Trial.

Chandler leaves behind wife Ann, his sister Pamela, brother Hutch and wife Patty, his two daughters and their husbands and four grandsons: Elizabeth and David Misener, Ethan and Spencer; Meghan Kirwin and Robin Collins, Rhys and Zachary.

There was a celebration of life for close family and friends. There will be no public funeral. Donations can be made to the Bruce Trail Conservancy Arrangements are entrusted with the Graham A. Giddy Funeral Home.
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Donations are being accepted for: THE BRUCE TRAIL CONSERVANCY.


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Marisa Bonofiglio

Posted at 01:12am
Dear Ann, Elizabeth and Meghan (I don't formally know Elizabeth and Meghan, but I've heard a lot about you, and your children!) - I've just learned now, through Facebook, of Chandler's passing - I'm utterly heartbroken of this news - Chandler was like a father-figure to me during my years at Guelph - my love for Leonardo da Vinci led me to become a medical illustrator and move to Florence for some time - Chandler and I had many interesting discussions about my love for art and science and all things Leonardo and Italy. I took courses at Guelph JUST to be in his classes, and he inspired me to write a memoir about my own family history when My Grandfather passed away while I was in his class in 2001, stemming from a project in Architecture. I took his courses in Renaissance History and Museum Studies, and I hung onto every word he said in his lectures. He helped me fulfill my dreams of living in Florence, Italy, on a letter of permission (for some study abroad program) and then I actually DID move to Florence for some time. He encouraged me throughout my major life decisions: I looked up to him as a wise mentor, and loved hearing his stories about his time in Italy too - How amazing was it that I could have a full conversation in Italian with him? When I went to Milan, I looked for the homage sculpture of "Leonardo's Horse" at the Ippodromo di Milano (He was on the panel that commissioned the artist). We did manage to keep in touch after many years (I came to visit the house several times to have dinner with Ann and Chandler, and I believe the last time I spoke on the phone with him was about 4 years ago - I was undergoing a major life change, and I wanted to talk to him about it! I am now a high school teacher. ) Life gets so busy and time flies without realizing - I'm just so shocked with this news. I remember him telling me of his decision to retire from Guelph ... "he slipped away without anyone noticing"... I guess that was his way : private and did not want the attention. He was one of the most important people who shaped my life. I'm not even exaggerating... I tried calling the house last summer (2018), but I know often he travelled to the States and Europe, so I assumed he was not at home. I would really love to get in touch with Ann, or any of you. My email is: ... My phone number is: 647-898-7943. I'm not sure if any of his family members is still reading this tribute page, but I will try calling the house this weekend in any case. I will happily donate to a cause in his memory... Dr. Kirwin, Chandler, I pray that you are at peace wherever you are - and I hope you know how much you were loved! With sincere gratitude, and my deepest condolences to his entire family: I know how much he loved you too - you were his greatest pride and joy.
- Marisa Bonofiglio (Woodbridge, Ontario)

Joel M. Upton

Posted at 01:52pm
Dear Ann, Elizabeth and Meghan,
I've just learned of Chandler's passing. My memory of Chandler is one of his great energy, joyful enthusiasm, and tough intelligence. Sharing the teaching of the introductory art history course was one of the highlights and enduring pleasures of my own teaching career. Please accept my thoughts and prayers.
All best,
Joel Upton

David Bruce

Posted at 04:28pm
Chandler Kirwin was the absolute best professor I ever had. He stirred within me a love of art and specifically art history. I remember sitting in the dim lecture room where Chandler would bring the world of art alive for me. I always looked forward to his lectures as I found them interesting, challenging, thought provoking and entertaining. I recall Chandler welcoming us to a lecture early on a cold winter morning and noting that he had already been doing chores and hustling some of his pigs off to market. Chandler had an amazing ability of presenting art to his was not all about dates, artistic style and the various periods of art but rather his innate ability to present a context for art. I will always remember when I handed him my last exam before I graduated and he graciously invited me to his house where we talked about life over a beer. I am so very happy that I had the privilege to hear Chandler so eloquently discuss art. Chandler had a profound effect on me...he made me a better person for which I will be eternally grateful.

David Bruce

Posted at 03:16pm
Chandler Kirwin was the absolute best professor I had. He stirred within me a love of art and specifically art history. I remember sitting in the dim lecture room

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