In - Always in our hearts

  • Jan and Zack jacobson lit a candle on 08/14/2017:
    "One of our oldest friends. I can't actually remember when we first met Derek, But some time later, I recall meeting up with Derek and Marlene in London when Jan and I were there on our honeymoon. And very many happy times after that.."

  • Marijke Hager lit a candle on 09/10/2017:
    "Whith love to a nice man"

  • Susie Davis lit a candle on 08/06/2020:
    "It's hard to believe it's been 5 years. You are always in my heart dad, I love you and miss you."

About him

Derek Davis

Derek Davis

Born: June 25th, 1938

Passed on: August 7th, 2017

A Memorial Service, honouring the life of Derek Sidney Davis, will be held on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 from 2pm-4pm at the Fairbanks Centre (Shubie Park Canal Museum), located at 54 Locks Road in Dartmouth, NS.

Derek Sidney Davis died on August 7th, 2017 in Dartmouth, NS. Derek was born on June 25, 1938 in East Ham, London England to Jessie (Rolfe) and William Davis.

During the War he was evacuated with his Mother and brother to Cookham on the River Thames where like many evacuees he developed a lifelong interest in natural history and airplanes. When they returned to London, Derek was about 7 and he crossed the city to the Natural History Museum every week. There he became a member of the Junior Naturalists Club and later the Field Observers’ Club. He was supported, encouraged and greatly influenced by the educator Jacqueline Palmer to begin his first field observations on the movement of snails on garden Chrysanthemums. It was also due to Jacqueline Palmer that Derek began his love affair with Alderney in the Channel Islands. At many summer camps there he practised running transects, sketching specimens and the art of maintaining a card catalogue! At the East Ham Grammar School, his teachers Max Seidman and Steve Forrester showed him how all human activity was influenced by geography. He was a member and later president of the International Youth Federation for the Study and Conservation of Nature.

Derek studied geology and biology at Chelsea College, London. After graduation, he did pre- and post- commissioning studies of the Bradwell Nuclear Power Station and its impact on the Blackwater Estuary in Essex. It is here that he also met his wife Marlene. In 1965 they moved to Nova Scotia, where Derek completed a PhD at Dalhousie University, and became the Chief Curator of Science at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History. He continued to encourage conservation and environmental education throughout his career. He wrote numerous scientific papers on NS land and fresh-water molluscs, and co-edited the 2 volume Natural History of Nova Scotia. He taught Landscape Ecology at the NS College of Art and Design; was a member of the Mollusc Group of COSEWIC; a member of the NS Institute of Science serving a term as its president; an early supporter of the Ecology Action Centre and later member of the Marine Issues Committee.

Derek loved fishing boats, particularly Thames barges and liked to build models of them. He was a member of the Model Ship Modelers Guild. He also constructed model soldiers, airplanes, and a couple of pretty nice doll houses.

Derek was loved and admired by his family. He is survived by wife Marlene (Milligan); daughter Susan and partner Frank Moynahan (Vancouver); son Geoffrey and wife Kathryn Parlee and granddaughter Hillary (Dartmouth); son Colin and wife Miwa (Kyoto, Japan); his brother Barry, and other family in the UK; his father-in-law Clinton Milligan and extended family in the Maritimes. He was predeceased by his parents; his brother Graham; his mother-in-law Roberta; and infant niece Laerke.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Ecology Action Centre ( would be appreciated.

Our family will receive friends at home on Friday, August 11 from 2 pm to 4 pm. A memorial service is being planned for the fall.