Remembering Elliott Avedon

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It is with great sorrow that I inform you of the death of Elliott Avedon. In Elliott, a past faculty member and professor emeritus, we have lost a dear friend to the department and a valued colleague."  -Troy Glover, Chair, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

Elliott Avedon.
Elliott Avedon, professor of recreation and leisure studies and founder of the University of Waterloo’s Museum and Archive of Games, died on Monday, November 21.

Avedon came to the University of Waterloo in 1971 from Columbia University Teacher’s College in New York. He was instrumental in the founding of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies and was the cornerstone and architect of the therapeutic recreation program. Through his many travels, he became interested in games and wrote the now seminal work, “The Study of Games.” In the early 70s, he founded the Museum and Archive of Games, originally as a teaching aid for students. Over the three and a half decades that followed, the collection and its archives grew to include more than 5,000 objects and documents and was displayed in a physical exhibition space in B.C. Matthews Hall. In 2010 the collection was transferred to the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa to protect the world-famous resource for future generations.

Displaying incredible academic range, Avedon edited and published the landmark collection of documents known as the Canadian Outdoor Recreation Demand Study– research that was distinctly ahead of its time. While carrying a full academic portfolio, he also established the Leisure Studies Data Bank – an international archive of recreation and leisure data. In 1975, he led the formation of the graduate studies program in recreation and leisure studies – the first of its kind in Canada. Always an early adopter of technology, he served as Associate Dean of Computing in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences for eight years and contributed to the reputation of the University of Waterloo as a leading institution for information technology and computer science. He retired in 1995 as Professor Emeritus.

Avedon is survived by his two children, Roger and Madeline, and five grandchildren. There will be a private ceremony in the U.S. for family and close friends. Donations on behalf of Elliott Avedon may be made to the Sarasota Opera, one of his favorite local artisans.