Rodney Poisson

Poisson, Rodney

1914 ~ 2006

Rodney Poisson was born in Victoria BC, to parents newly arrived from Europe. Rodney grew up in Vancouver, was educated at Dale’s School, and later at U.B.C. His work, Ambivalence in Shakespere’s Histories, which earned him his PhD from the University of Washington, was a significant contribution to Shakespearian studies.

During the Second World War Rodney was Lieutenant Commander in the Canadian Navy (RCNVR). After being stationed in Halifax he served on board HMCS Robert in the Pacific, as the ship’s navigator. After the war, Rodney taught navigation at Royal Roads Military College.

Rodney’s teaching career began at Victoria College (now the University of Victoria), continued at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, then at Huron College (at the University of Western Ontario), where he was appointed Dean of Arts. His sabbatical in 1970 took him and Helen to Italy where he discovered a 16th century manuscript confirming the historical authenticity of the complex plot of Shakespeare’s Othello.

A romantic companion for his wife Helen, Rodney was also a favourite professor, mentor, friend, sailor and nautical enthusiast, gardener, woodworker and avid reader with a preference for the 17th century.

Survived by his beloved wife Helen, daughters Renée and Thérèse, grandchildren Guy and Sarah, Rodney died peacefully at home in Comox.


His nature is too noble for the world:

He would not flatter Neptune for his trident

Or Jove for’s power to thunder. His heart’s his mouth;

What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent.

Coriolanus III.i.


The Funeral Service will be held at St. John The Divine, 579 5th Street, Courtenay, BC at 4:00pm Saturday, February 11. Reception follows at the church hall. Everyone is welcome!