Robert M. Borden, 91, of Banff Alberta, died on Friday, April 6, at his second home in Old Bennington, Vermont.
Bob was born in New York City on February 27, 1927, graduating from Cornell University as a rocket engineer and then joining the jet propulsion team at United Aircraft. Soon he yearned to go West, adapting his skills and ideas to the nascent energy industry, first in Colorado and Wyoming and eventually in Alberta, Canada. He met and married Sally Rand, with whom he had two daughters, Deborah Scripps of San Francisco and Melissa Borden Viallon of Lyon, France. Sally preceded Bob in death in 1980.
Over his lifetime, Bob launched scores of widely ranging undertakings that reflected his curiosity, imagination, fearless optimism, and can-do. These included oil and gas drilling and producing ventures; property development in Canada, the U.S, and Europe; hotels, restaurants and a clothing store in Banff; an art gallery in New York; and venture capital companies in telecommunications, education, sustainable energy, biotechnology, and exoscale and quantum computing in Canada and the United States. He was a former president of the Edmonton Petroleum Club and of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling.
Bob's devotion to art and community in Alberta were reflected in his creation of the Sally Borden Building, a health and recreation facility at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, as well as the gallery, "Many Faces, Many Paths: Art of Asia" at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.
Bob had a special commitment to fortifying democratic institutions around the world, serving as a trustee of the American University in Beirut, a director of the Council for a Community of Democracies, a fellow of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, and a supporter of the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College in Vermont.
His enthusiasms included nature, music, and sports -- especially skiing, golf, swimming and tennis -- and he was a past member of the board of the Edmonton Eskimos. Even more, he adored his five granddaughters, Sara Scripps of Napa, California, Dr. Tessa Scripps and her husband, Lee Hepner of New York, Emma Scripps of San Francisco, Lydia Viallon and her husband, Kiel Bonhomme, of Lyon, and Olivia Viallon, also of Lyon. He was very lucky to know his first great grandson, Ezra Hepner, and to meet his second, Jude Hepner, both of New York.
With his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, Bob is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Susan Vere Paris.
In hospice care at his Vermont home for the last 18 months, Bob loved and was loved by an extraordinary team of caregivers and hospice nurses to whom his family extends unbounded gratitude.