In Memoriam: John Michael Robert Rosenthal, 1941-2023

After 50-plus years in scaffolding, shoring and forming, Rosenthal passed away at age 82

John Michael Robert Rosenthal (Photo: SAIA)

It is with great sadness that SA announce the passing of John Michael Robert Rosenthal on Friday, September 1, 2023, after battling cancer for over a year. He was born on August 26, 1941, in Toronto, Ontario, the eldest son of Murdock and Joan (O’Neill) Rosenthal.

John graduated from the University of Toronto’s Mechanical Engineering program in 1967. Soon after, he spent five years working for the Aluminum Company of Canada in Guyana, Northern Quebec, and in Jamaica before joining Aluma Systems in 1972 to help develop the Aluma Beam and the Flying Form system. When Aluma acquired a scaffold company in 1978, John expanded his knowledge to include scaffolding as well as concrete shoring and forming systems.

John was the company representative to the SSFI, Canadian Standards Association, SAIA, and SIAC. He has written many articles published in the Access Canada and Scaffold and Access industry magazines, has written engineering design manuals, product manuals and maintenance manuals for several companies in Canada and in the U.S.

John has won many awards from the SAIC, Professional Engineers Ontario, Construction Safety Association of Ontario, Ontario Voluntary Service, Engineers Canada and the Peel Literacy Guild.

John was a long-time member of SAIA and participated in several committees, as well as being an Accredited Training Provider for several SAIA training programs. He was recently involved with the re-development of the SAIA Competent Person Training Program for supported scaffolds. He always emphasized safety and left a legacy of developing safety standards, establishing training curricula, providing expert testimony and training thousands of workers across Canada and abroad.

He will be greatly missed by his wife, Francine, and his daughters, Jennifer and Julie.

His family wishes to thank all the doctors, nurses and staff at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, who offered John exceptional care over the past year.

Donations can be made to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Condolences and fond memories may be expressed at

KHL Group and the staff of its magazines including Scaffold & Access send their sincere condolences to the family and friends of John Michael Robert Rosenthal.

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