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In Memoriam ‑ Dr. Mary Kilfoil

Posted by Department of Economics on September 15, 2023 in News

Dr. Mary Agnes Kilfoil
September 13, 2023

Educator, mentor, and innovator, Dr. Mary Agnes Kilfoil passed away at her home, in Halifax Nova Scotia, on September 7th, 2023. She was a talented economist and entrepreneurial leader whose relationship with Dalhousie University began in 1989, when she taught her first course.

In the 34 years since then, she earned a PhD in Economics at Dal, was a full-time assistant professor in the Faculty of Management in the 2010s, and taught numerous courses primarily in Management and Economics, alongside her successful private sector career. Dr. Kilfoil’s final course was this summer in the Faculty of Management.

Dr. Kilfoil is widely known inside and outside the university community for her work building, fostering, and supporting entrepreneurship activity at Dalhousie and in Halifax, alongside her spouse Dr. Ed Leach. She worked tirelessly in support of the success and engagement of students. Their early work in this space is part of the foundation for the vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region. In the years since there’s been accolades from many of her students, now business leaders, who she supported and inspired, and the start-up community in Canada. She was honored with the national Entrepreneurship Educator award from Startup Canada in 2014.

Dr. Kilfoil met her soulmate, Dr. Ed Leach in 1999, and they married in August 2005. The eldest of nine siblings, a mother, grandmother, and aunt, she took immense joy in sharing simple pleasures with family and friends. A woman of many achievements and boundless energy, she was at her best doing things she loved with the people she loved.

The flags on campus are flying at half-mast in her honour. A celebration of Mary's life will take place Saturday September 16th at the Banook Canoe Club, 17 Banook Ave Dartmouth at 2 pm. For details, please see

A funeral service and internment will be held the following Saturday September 23rd at 11:00 at St. John the Evangelist church, 309 Johnville Rd, Johnville, New Brunswick, with reception to follow at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bath, New Brunswick. Dr. Kilfoil’s obituary and more details about these events in her honour can be found here.