It is with deep sadness, but also a sense of relief, that we announce the passing of Floyd Bigsby on October 20, 2015, at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon at the age of 91. Floyd is survived by his wife of 59 years, Nina, his four children, Hugh (Marg), Kathy (Doug), Ron (Judy) and Dick (Jennifer), and 11 grandchildren.
Floyd was born in Edam, SK, to parents who had emigrated from the US (Michigan). In 1939, they moved to the Okanagan valley, where they were able to purchase a small farm just north of Armstrong. Floyd maintained a strong attachment to that farm in BC for the rest of his life.
Encouraged by his parents’ emphasis on education, Floyd enrolled at UBC, receiving a BASc (Agriculture), followed with a MEng’55, and a PhD’62, from Iowa State University. It was during his time at Iowa State that he met Nina (a dietician); they were married in 1956. Wasting no time, their four children were born between August 1957 and August 1962.
After a stint with the Canadian Government in Swift Current, Floyd joined the Agricultural Engineering Department at the University of Saskatchewan where he was a professor until his retirement in 1986. In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities, Floyd was highly respected for his work as an international expert on farming techniques. Floyd and Nina enjoyed assignments in Nigeria, Ghana, Australia, China, India and Cuba. Largely due to his hands-on experience with farm machinery, he had a special way of connecting with like-minded engineers from all cultures. It was also during this time that Floyd, along with one of his U of S colleagues, started up a “high tech” agricultural machinery company that eventually became NORAC.