DLSPH remembers Professor Victor Marshall

August 27/2018


Professor Victor W. Marshall

Professor Victor W. Marshall

The University of Toronto community is mourning Professor Victor W. Marshall, an internationally renowned sociologist and professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, who passed away on August 18, 2018.

“The University of Toronto has lost a dedicated mentor and friend,” said Adalsteinn Brown, Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. “A tireless researcher and scholar, Victor made significant contributions to policies related to aging, ultimately improving the quality of life of millions of older Canadians.”

Marshall is credited with making aging a prominent field of study at U of T. He was a Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at DLSPH and former director of the Institute for Life Course and Aging. His research advanced knowledge in critical areas of public health and health policy, including the implications of aging in the labour force, how the retirement transition impacts health, and social theories of aging and the life course.

“Victor’s scholarship broke important new ground in the sociology of health and aging,” said Cameron Mustard, Professor of Epidemiology at DLSPH.

“He had an outstanding talent for leading interdisciplinary research groups. His sparkling enthusiasm was infectious and he was one of the most generous and stimulating mentors of research trainees many of us have ever known,” said Mustard, who is also President and Senior Scientist at the Institute for Work & Health.

From 1988-89 Marshall was Graduate Coordinator of the Department of Community Health (a predecessor of the DLSPH). In 1990 he was appointed director of U of T’s Centre for Studies on Aging, which he held until 1996 when he was appointed director of the Institute for Human Development, Life Course and Aging. He initiated the Collaborative Specialization Aging, Palliative and Supportive Care Across the Life Course that has hundreds of students and graduates today.

Across all these years and as an integral, highly respected member of all these families, he enriched many lives as an administrator, researcher, mentor, colleague and friend.

“Victor was a member of my thesis committee and read many drafts quickly, enthusiastically, and carefully. I benefited from his abilities to make theory exciting and to bring a sense of camaraderie to class discussions,” said Beverly Wellman, DLSPH alumna and former student of Marshall who says his work has influenced her work through the decades.

Marshall was a founding member of the Canadian Association on Gerontology and served as vice president from 1995-97. He received DLSPH’s Anthony Miller Award for Excellence in Research in Public Health Sciences in 1997 and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for his service to the field of gerontology.

In lieu of a funeral, there will be a celebration of his life. Dr. Joanne Gard Marshall, and their daughter Dr. Emily Marshall and her husband Chris Oliver welcome donations to the Canadian Association on Gerontology in his memory.

With files from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work