Arthur John Cockfield

25-May-1967 - 09-Jan-2022

Obituary Overview

In Loving Memory


Cockfield : Arthur John
May 25, 1967 - January 9, 2022

With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Art Cockfield, suddenly at the age of 54 of an unsuspected heart condition, on January 9, 2022.

Arthur was predeceased by his father Arthur John Cockfield III . He leaves behind his loving, caring partner Sierra Lewis, the joys of his life, sons Arthur, Jack and William, his proud and caring mother Gale Clost Costen, stepfather Eric Costen, sister Lorinda Karas, stepbrother Eric, stepsister Josee, Aunt Jane and Uncle Doug Matatall and all his cousins.

Art grew up in Ottawa with his parents Gale and the late Arthur John Cockfield III along with his sister Lorinda. He always described his childhood as idyllic and he enjoyed spending time with his beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many cousins. His youth and teen years were filled with time at the family cottage in Calabogie, Uncle Craig’s horse farm Captiva Farms, playing Dungeons and Dragons with his buddies, competing in various sports, and watching and studying movies.

Physical activity and the outdoors were very important to Art. He loved to camp, take road trips, and spend time at his cottage near Kingston.

He was a talented athlete and came by these abilities from his dad, who was also a star athlete. In particular, Art excelled at volleyball, tennis and rugby. The love of these sports was passed on to all three of his sons, each gifted athletes in their own right. He spent countless hours throwing the football and shooting hoops and playing volleyball with his boys. He rarely missed one of their many sporting events.

Fatherhood was very important to Art. To say that he was a proud Dad would be an extreme understatement. He spent every moment possible with Arthur, Jack, and William. His sons were everything to him.
Art was a good friend to so many. His lifelong friendships, developed in public, high school and university will be remembered forever. He travelled the world and made friends all along the way. The Bahamas held a special place in his heart as it was the birthplace of his father.

Art received his Business degree at the Ivey School of Business at Western University, obtained his law degree from Queens in 1993 and completed his doctoral studies in law at Stanford University. He was a Law Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Policy at Queens University, and one of the world’s leading Tax Law scholars. Art was a loyal and dedicated teacher who deeply cared for his students. If you met him, he’d end up saying to you quickly, “I have the best job in the world”. He was also a prolific author of numerous published scholarly papers and books as well as some works of fiction. Art also served as a legal and tax policy consultant to the United Nations, World Bank, Department of Justice and Finance and many more global institutions and governments.

Art had so much more to do and so much love and knowledge to share. Instead of feeling robbed of many more years, we prefer to feel lucky that we had his presence for as long as we did. A bright light in the universe has been dimmed but will never go out. His spirit lives on in his children all the days of their lives.

We know he is resting easy and having a laugh with Art II, Art III and Uncle Craig, somewhere in another dimension.

A public event to commemorate Art’s life is being planed by Queen’s Law and details will be announced in the future. A private family memorial will be held with internment at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests, with gratitude, that donations be made to the Professor Arthur Cockfield Memorial Fund at www.givetoqueens.ca/cockfield . Condolences and tributes may be made at www.GFTompkins-Township
“A life that touches others will go on forever”

Condolences from family and friends

Posted by Morgan Wade | 17-Feb-2022


“The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one.” Seneca It was with great shock and sadness that I heard of Art’s passing. When I think of Art, I think of his almost boyish gregariousness, his generous spirit, and his joie de vivre, so it is difficult to reconcile these traits with his leaving us far too soon. He introduced me to the Inkston’s writing circle and invited me to join, for which I will be forever grateful. We shared a love of literature and history and I always appreciated our engaging discussions. I enjoyed reading his work, discovering how much he loved the Bahamas, the birthplace of his father. His playfulness came out in his writing. He was a conscientious and generous editor as well, helping me greatly with my own work on many occasions. I will miss his ready smile and puckish sense of humour. My sincerest condolences to his immediate family, his sons, and the rest of his friends and extended relations.

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Posted by Gerard Kennedy | 10-Feb-2022


Professor Cockfield was already a giant at Queen's Law when I attended from 2007-2010. Though he never taught me a course, I recognized him as a potential academic mentor, and he embraced that role for me with his characteristic kindness: guiding me through practice, graduate school, and as a junior faculty member at the University of Manitoba. It is hard to believe that he won't be there during my next journey to Kingston. My sincere condolences to his sons, of whom he was so proud.

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