Louis C. Charland

30-Jun-1958 - 09-May-2021

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Posted by Bill Atthill | 07-Jun-2021

My sincerest sympathy to Anna and Louis’s-extended family! I knew Louis to be a kind and gentle soul . We had shared hard times and good without reservation I will always to proudly proclaim him my friend. Much Love Bill

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Posted by Evelyn Schmitz-Hertzberg | 03-Jun-2021

I met Louis at the Canadian Friends Historical Association visit to Yarmouth monthly meeting, the Quaker meeting house, and an historic tour of the early Quaker the history of the area around Sparta led by Jane Zavitz (in the photo below). I immediately hit it off with Louis as I could see that he had an intellectual appreciation and curiosity about the Quakers that came from a deep place in him. He also had a sense of humor that was also immediately evident. I was very saddened despite my short encounter with him to hear of his death.

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Posted by Tania Gergel | 27-May-2021

After admiring Louis' work for many years, we finally 'met' properly during the pandemic and built up a very close friendship via emails and Zoom. Louis was an incredible scholar and it was wonderful to discuss ideas with him; but, much more than that, he was an amazing person - so full of warmth, generosity, care, humour, passion. Despite the brevity of our close friendship, it almost felt like I had known him for many years and he had become such an important part of my life. I will miss him deeply and I am so sorry that he will not be able to come over to London so that we could meet in person, as I had hoped, and that we will not be able to work on all the future projects we were planning together - although he will always be an inspiration. But, from the wonderful tributes I have heard, it seems as if Louis was so deeply loved and admired by all those he met - and I feel immensely privileged that we shared so much, despite the brevity. Rest in peace Louis - your wonderful spirit lives on.

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Posted by Tim Burns | 27-May-2021

Such sad and sudden news... I first met Louis as a teen back in Ottawa, 1978 or so? He was not only a neighbour, but he was also dating my big sister Vicki. So he wound up at our house fairly often and participated in many lively Sunday night dinner table debates. He filled my high school head with tales of Wittgenstein and The Ineffable. And since I was a drummer in a band, he inundated me with new and exhilarating influences like Harmonium, Zappa, Jeff Beck, Genesis and many more. I still have some of the psychedelic albums I bought at his garage sale. He dubbed me 'Mit' and never failed to have a fresh, provocative, and often funny perspective on pretty much everything. For all the years I knew him, that never changed.

I think my favourite Louis story was when I was preparing to leave for university in Toronto, and had to teach myself to type. So I was filling pages with typing exercises like 'Mad, sad, bad, fad, dad' etc. Louis stopped by, picked up one of the pages and started reading quietly. "Mit!", he suddenly exclaimed, "This is some of the best poetry I've ever read!" He was sincere, and couldn't understand why I was laughing so hard. That was when I decided that maybe there was such a thing as TOO much philosophical eduction. :-)

Louis was a memorable, charming, and impressive human. Multi-talented, brilliant, unassuming and fun. It's been a couple years since I'd seen him, and I can't believe he's gone. My condolences to his friends and family. I can only imagine how many lives he touched, but I'm very glad he bumped into mine.

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Posted by Lauren McNair | 27-May-2021

Professor Charland was the first Professor who I really connected to, and although I only knew him for a short while, the impact he made on me is one that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. His passion for what he taught was so apparent that you couldn't help but be totally enthralled with what he was saying, trying to soak up every bit of it. I could listen to him speak for hours. He didn't just teach me about a particular subject, but about kindness, gratitude, empathy and grace. In my few meetings with him he always asked how I was doing and he meant it too, wanting to know more about me and talk about things outside of just coursework. His genuine heart shined through so brightly. I have truly loved reading his friends, family and colleagues stories about him as he seems to have lived such a fantastic and full life, I only wished I could've heard more stories from himself. He was so deeply loved and will be deeply missed.

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Posted by BERND STEINBOCK | 26-May-2021

Kayte and I are devastated to hear about Louis' passing. We had the great fortune to get to know him during our sabbatical leave in Berlin in 2018, where we regularly met for coffee and shared our experiences at Western and in Germany. I was immediately drawn to Louis thanks to his kindness, his openess, his manifest desire to connect with people on a deep, personal level. I will miss him dearly. Our heart goes out to Anna and the rest of his family. Rest in peace, dear friend!

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Posted by Deborah Weiss | 22-May-2021

I'm so sorry to hear that Louis Charland has passed away. I just finished reading an article of his on John Locke and madness from 2014. When I'm impressed by any scholarly work, I often will search for the author to find out a bit more about him or her. I was shocked to learn he had passed away only last week. My condolences to his family, friends, students, and colleagues.

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Posted by Sebastien Perry | 22-May-2021

Louis (aliases: Lou-dog, Bud) was my uncle but he was also a friend. He was generous and supportive, and so much fun to be around. He helped me through some difficult moments and I’ll never forget his kindness during those times. There are many beautiful memories I want to share but sadly it’s impossible to capture all of them on a page.

A couple highlights:

1. When I was a kid we would regularly visit what felt like the seediest diner in town « The Old Vienna ». Louis’s love of greasy spoons never wavered and this was a favourite activity of ours. For my wedding he contributed a poem titled "The Old Vienna On Rideau Street" (In search of icons of a lost epoch). It brought the house down.

2. As many have mentioned Louis loved cooking, and as a wedding gift he gave me a handcrafted boutique Japanese chef’s knife. He was so excited about it, and would periodically check in to make sure I was taking proper care of it. Absolutely no sharpening myself unless I had taken SEVERAL lessons, always dry the blade IMMEDIATELY after washing, etc. This was a sacred object and needed to be treated as such. I hope Louis would have been pleased to know that I took it to be sharpened at the best place in town and it is now sharp as ever. I will think of Louis very time I use it.

Cher Louis, tu me manques tellement. Je t’aime et je pense à toi.

Your bud,


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Posted by Sharon Wong | 21-May-2021

I did not know Louis well. Your beautiful obituary brilliantly captures his spirit and character. My deepest condolences to family and friends on this great loss.

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Posted by Christopher Meechan | 21-May-2021

I heard Louis speak brilliantly in Manchester a few years ago. I had the pleasure of meeting him for the first and only time, online, at a conference a couple of months back. He didn't know me from Adam but chatted away with me for 45 minutes. He was warm, funny, insightful and friendly. I'm sure this brief encounter reflects what those who are close to him have known for a lifetime. My thoughts go out to you all.
RIP Louis.

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