Obituary — James H. Vincent


James H. Vincent, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health, died peacefully at his Ann Arbor home June 23, from liver cancer.

A modern Renaissance man, Jim was an accomplished scientist, educator and musician, and an avid fly fisherman.  He was energetic, charismatic, imaginative, loquacious and compassionate — beloved by his family and by his expansive network of friends and colleagues.

James H. Vincent
James H. Vincent

Jim was born and raised in a working-class family in Linslade, England. He earned Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. degrees in physics, and was later awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Durham, England.

His professional career spanned more than four decades and included positions in applied physics at American Standard Corp. and the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and in environmental health sciences at the Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh, and at the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan.

He chaired the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at U-M from 1998-2004.

He co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles and four textbooks — three as sole author ­— mostly in the areas of aerosol science and technology related to human exposure assessments. He received numerous awards for his scientific contributions in these areas.

Jim also had a lifelong love of music and moonlighted as a professional jazz pianist early in his career. He loved playing and composing music for the piano and, more recently, hosting in-house concerts that featured his Model D Steinway and many fellow musicians.

Jim met his first love, Christine, before attending university. During their 47 years of marriage, they had four children and lived in England, Scotland and the United States. They enjoyed a loving partnership and were best friends. Sadly, Christine died in 2011 after a long struggle with early-onset dementia.

In 2012, Jim met his second love, Linda Dunning, with whom he enjoyed a wonderful marriage of nine years in Michigan, characterized by devotion, travel and much merriment.

Jim is survived by his wife, Linda; sons Jeremy (Helen) and David (Yana); daughters Heather (Keith) and Claire (Erik); nine grandchildren (Evelyn, Alisdair, Hanna, Brodie, Scott, April, Ruby, Charlotte and Henry); and sister Jean (Keith) and brother-in-law Keith (Jane). 

Submitted by the School of Public Health


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