Michael Jolliffe

Michael Jolliffe died peacefully March 1. He was 81. Born in Scotland, June 19, 1936, he grew up in England and graduated with honors in engineering from Imperial College, London.

Early in his career when he worked for Ove Arup on the engineering design for the Sydney Opera House, he invented the single span pre-stressed concrete beams that allowed long open expanses with no need for support columns.

Michael moved to the USA in 1957. He joined Zaldastani Associates, Consulting Engineers, in Boston, later becoming President. Through the years Michael worked both in the Middle East and nationally. In the 1960s he was the structural engineer for the control tower and central parking at Logan Airport, and the renovation of Harvard Stadium. Notable other work included air rights projects at Copley Place, the Hancock Garage over the turnpike, and Back Bay station, allowing for the creation of a park over the Orange Line that knits together the Back Bay and the South End.

In retirement, Michael served on the board of Wheelock College and the New Bedford Art Museum. Michael and his wife Ruth designed and built an innovative and energy-efficient titanium-clad house, including the gardens surrounding it, on the south coast of Massachusetts. Together they wrote a book Bluefish, How to Build a Wonderful House.

In addition to his wife Ruth, Michael is survived by his three sons; Hylton, his wife Mimi, and their children, Zoe and Rye, of Jamaica Plain, MA; Oliver, his wife Camilla, of Los Angeles, CA; and Reeve; his step-children, Jeremy Evans, his wife Jennifer and their two sons, Bennett and Fitch of Hampstead, NH, and Amanda Bircher, her husband Jeremy, of Wyoming. He is also survived by first wife Sarah, his sister Destine, of Woodbridge, England, and his brother Terence, his wife Nora, of Loupiac, France and their two children, and a niece and nephew and two great-nephews.

A funeral service will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, 422 County Street, New Bedford, Saturday, March 17 at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grace Church Restoration Fund, 133 School Street, New Bedford, 02742 and The Alzheimer’s Association, Attn: Team Brave Hearts, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452.

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