Prof. Weston Flint died peacefully, with family by his side, Sunday, April 28, 2013, age 90. He was the husband of Noma Flint, father of Robert (Jacqueline), Lucy, and Christopher (Athena), and grandfather of Emma, Grace, and Gray. Born in Boston, Wes was a star athlete first at Noble & Greenough School in Massachusetts, then as an IC4A hurdler/sprinter and captain of the Harvard track team. His schooling was interrupted in 1943-46 by service with General Patton's Third Army in France, Germany, and Czechoslovakia. After the war, he represented the First National Bank of Boston in Havana. When it became clear to him that he was not cut out to be a banker, he earned an MA and PhD in Romance Languages from the University of North Carolina and a stint at Dartmouth College. After eight years at Duke University, in 1965 he arrived at the University of Western Ontario to head the Department of Romance Languages at Talbot College. He treasured his twenty-year professional relationship with UWO, and was happy to return to Canada, where as a child he had spent summers at Camp Wabun on Lake Temagami. Regular international study and travel with his family included an appointment to direct the Middlebury College Study Abroad Program in Madrid and visits over two decades to his mother-in-law in Mexico. A lover of classical music and opera, he played the piano by ear and often burst into spontaneous harmonized song with his wife. Son of a publisher and himself an author of scholarly works, he had a lifelong passion for books, Harvard University, as well as the Boston Red Sox (and, often, the Blue Jays).
For those of us who did know West Flint, his death in April comes as a surprise. I met him in the late sixties as an undergraduate through the Carleton University Spanish drama group when he and a group of UWO profs came to Ottawa to see our plays, and later at AATSP and ACH meetings. He and his wife Noma were a team in all they did, including the scholarship they produced on nineteenth-century Spanish narrative. I greatly enjoyed bumping into him in the UC hallways as he attended classes and continued learning well into retirement. He was a lovely and kind man who served as an example to me.
I came to know Wes Flint quite well during the 1970s. He was a real gentleman in the best sense of the word. As chairman of the (then) Spanish and Italian Department, he had the unenviable task of steering his oft-divided colleagues on an even course. He served them well, as a forthright and tactful administrator; I found him a loyal friend. In the end, Wes felt that the years of administrative responsibilities might have been spent more productively in scholarly pursuits. He opted for early retirement. I still miss him.