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Memorable Manitobans: David Richard “Dick” Metcalfe (1923-2005)

Plant geneticist.

Born at the family farm at Carroll on 14 October 1923 to Eliza Ann Heyworth “Doll” Taylor (1902-1982) and Arthur Wellington “Art” Metcalfe (1900-1972), from 1942 to 1945 he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. In 1949, he married kindergarten teacher Dorothy Ina “Dodie” Seafoot (1928-2021), with whom he went on to have two children. He graduated with a BSc degree in Agriculture (1950) from the University of Manitoba, an MSc degree (1953) from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD degree (1960) from the University of Manitoba.

Throughout his career, he was a research scientist in plant genetics with the Canada Department of Agriculture until his retirement in 1989. His career began at the Brandon Research Station, and in 1966, he and his family moved to Winnipeg, where he joined the staff at the Winnipeg Research Centre on the campus of the University of Manitoba. In 1964, he and his family moved for a year to Cambridge, England, where he conducted research on two-row barley as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Trumpington Plant Breeding Institute. He was responsible for developing several new varieties of malting barley, including Norbert, Ellice, and Oxbow, and made the original cross for the development of the variety called AC Metcalfe, so named to recognize his international contribution to barley breeding. He was a lifetime member of the Canadian Seed Growers Association, and for several years he was the coordinator of the Eastern Prairie Barley Group. He especially enjoyed the camaraderie of an international group of researchers that worked in his field.

He was a member of the Winnipeg Gliding Club for many years and enjoyed the opportunity to introduce new members to the sport. As a member of the United Church of Canada, he served as Superintendant of the Sunday School at Knox United Church in Brandon, and served on several committees at Fort Garry United Church in Winnipeg. Following his retirement, he volunteered at the Fort Whyte Nature Centre, leading educational tours for school children. His other pastimes included gardening, curling, reading, and travel.

He died at Winnipeg on 24 February 2005 and was buried in the Carroll Cemetery.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 February 2005.

Obituary [Dorothy Metcalfe], Brandon Sun, 17 February 2012.

“David Richard ‘Dick’ Metcalfe,” Metcalfe and Associates Family Tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 2 May 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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