Oct. 27, 2022

In Memoriam: Gillian Ranson, Faculty of Arts

Memorial gathering Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022
Gillian Ranson

The Faculty of Arts is mourning the loss of long-serving, greatly loved sociology professor Dr. Gillian Ranson, PhD, who passed away on July 24, 2022, in Vancouver.

Born in Perth, where she earned her BA and Dip.Ed from the University of Western Australia in 1967 and 1973, respectively, Ranson went on to work as a journalist in both Australia and the U.K. She married a Canadian and they moved to Edmonton and then to Calgary where she continued to work as a freelance journalist. 

Ranson enrolled in the University of Calgary’s sociology program in 1988, where she completed her MA before going on to earn her PhD at the University of Alberta.

She joined the University of Calgary’s Department of Sociology as an assistant professor in 1995, becoming an associate in 2001 and a full professor in 2015.

She also served as assistant dean of student affairs in the then-Faculty of Social Sciences from 2000 to 2002 and then associate dean of student affairs in Social Sciences from 2003 to 2005. She was director of grad studies in sociology for 18 months from 2007 to 2008 and department head in sociology from 2009 to 2012. In 2015, she retired.

Outside of the university, Ranson was always active in the community, volunteering for such organizations as the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good, the Women’s Centre of Calgary, and for local political candidates in several elections.

Ranson made a huge mark in her research fields, focusing on gender, family, and the workplace. Her acclaimed books include Against the Grain: Couples, Gender and the Reframing of Parenting (2010); Fathering, Masculinity and the Embodiment of Care (2015); The Parents and Children Project: Raising Kids in Canada Today (2018); and Front-Wave Boomers: Growing (Very) Old, Staying Connected, and Reimagining Aging (2022).

She leaves her son Matthew and his partner, Charlotte; her daughter, Caroline, son-in-law, Brad, and granddaughter, Lucy.

There will be a gathering in North Vancouver on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. to celebrate Ranson’s life and a Zoom option will be available for those unable to attend in person. To receive location information about the gathering, or to receive a Zoom link for the event, email Caroline at cmsniatynski@yahoo.ca.

To share fond and loving memories of Gillian Ranson go to the kudoboard