BELL, Morley Bruce

Oct 07, 1937 - Feb 24, 2023

Morley passed away peacefully at The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, in Ottawa on
February 24, succumbing to Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by his partner of over fifty
years, Pierre (Peter) Brault, his brothers Mervyn (Iris) and Glen (late Shirley), his niece Marcia
Bell, and his nephews Daniel (Leanne), John (Lisa), and Tim (Linda). He is predeceased by his
parents Melville Bell and Irene Bell (née Wylie) of Coldwater, Ontario.

Born in Coldwater, Morley spent his formative years on his family’s farm in the neighboring area.
Later, he studied at the University of Western Ontario and undertook his graduate studies at the
University of Toronto. Morley then moved to Ottawa where he began his career as a radio
astronomer at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics at the National Research Council of
Canada. His work took him to major observatories around the world, including a year at the
Royal Observatory in Edinburgh; Hilo, Hawaii; Greenbank, West Virginia, and others.
Throughout his career, Morley, in collaboration with colleagues, authored a substantial number
of scientific papers that were published in major science journals. A notable contribution was in
the detection of the largest molecule known at the time of the discovery. Morley remained
passionate about astrophysics both during his career, and in retirement, where he continued his
research at the National Research Council.

As well, after he retired, Morley took up violin-making, a hobby inspired by his background in
physics. Over the years, he made about thirty instruments, many of which are now in the hands
of appreciative musicians.

Special thanks to the staff in the emergency ward and in ‘8 West’ at the General Hospital, for
their care and compassion during Morley’s last days. Special thanks also to staff at Champlain
LHIN and at Carefor for their valuable in-home assistance earlier.

Burial will be at the Hobart Cemetery, Oro-Medonte in late spring. At Morley’s request, there will
be no funeral.


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