Mary Needler Arai

1932 – 2017

Mary Needler Arai passed away peacefully and suddenly at her home in Nanaimo, BC after a courageous battle with cancer, with her son Gordon by her side. A world renowned zoologist, beloved and respected mother, aunt, grandmother, colleague and 4th generation female scientist, Mary dedicated her life to science and family.

Mary is predeceased by her husband Hisao Philip Arai (2004), father Alfred W.H. Needler (1998), mother Alfreda Needler (nee Berkeley) (1954), stepmother Nina Mae Needler (nee Parker)(2008), brother George Treglohan Needler (2002) and sister Edith Chisholm Hesson (nee Needler)(2016). She is survived by sons Alfred Bruce (Erin Yuet Tjam), Gordon Boyd and Hugh Donald Arai, grandchildren Jerrel Paul, Margaret Mary and Wesley Bruce Appleton Arai; Aaron Jia-Yang, Andrew Jia-Tian and Alexander Jia-Hao Tjam Macfarlane and siblings Joan Claire Baker (Max), David Henry Needler (Cindy) and Duncan John Needler (Karen).

Mary was an honorary lifetime member of the Canadian Society of Zoologists, held an honorary Doctor of Science from UNB – Saint John and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The International Jellyfish Bloom Symposium.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 16th, 1pm at Sands Funeral Chapel, 1 Newcastle Ave. Nanaimo, Flowers gratefully declined, for those wishing donations can be made to the Hisao P. and Mary Needler Arai Marine Field Studies Scholarship at the University of Calgary, or the Canadian Cancer Society.


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