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KING-SHAW, Ethel Marguerite

June 16, 1927– March 2, 2013

Ethel King-Shaw of Calgary passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the age of 85 years.

A long career in the field of Education, particularly in Alberta, was captured in the official citation when she was awarded the Order of the University of Calgary at the Spring 2000 Convocation. The citation read, “Few people have seen the University of Calgary change, or, participated in that change, as much as Ethel King-Shaw.”

Ethel King’s interest in early childhood education, research in reading and curriculum development began in 1945 when she enrolled in the first Bachelor of Education program at the University of Alberta, Calgary Branch. She completed her B.Ed in Edmonton, taught in the city’s elementary schools, then entered graduate school at the University of Iowa where she completed her MA, and later, her PhD. She taught for two years at the Memorial University of Newfoundland.

The University of Calgary grew to an autonomous institution in 1966. One year later, Ethel became the first woman to be granted full professorship and the first woman elected to General Faculties Council at the University of Calgary. Upon retirement, Ethel was the first woman president of the Emeritus Association of retired professors.

Ethel was active in many professional organizations, especially the International Reading Association, serving on the board of directors and presenting invited papers in the USA, England, Denmark, Poland, Japan, Australia, Singapore and Argentina. She served on the Alberta Ministers Advisory Committee on Early Childhood Education which led to the introduction of early childhood services in Alberta Schools.

In recognition of her contributions, Ethel was awarded a Fellowship in the Canadian College of Teachers, the Alberta Achievement Award, the George Croskery Memorial Award and other honors.

She will be lovingly remembered by her brothers, Arthur King of Oakville, ON and Frank (Jeanette) King of Calgary, seven nieces and nephews and other family members.

Ethel was predeceased by her husband of 22 years, John Shaw in 2003.

Funeral Services will be held at Christ Church Elbow Park (3602 – 8th Street S.W.) on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. Graveside Service to follow at Union Cemetery. Condolences may be forwarded through If friends so desire, memorial contributions may be made to the University of Calgary Ethel King-Shaw Doctoral Scholarship in Literacy c/o U of C Development Office, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary AB T2N 1N4 or to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, 1331 – 29 Street NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4N2.

In living memory of Ethel King-Shaw, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Christa and Harry Elekes :

    Frank and Jeanette….I am so sorry to hear about Ethel’s passing. I met her many years ago at your home. What a gracious and wonderful person. Loved both Ethel and John. I know you will miss her greatly.

    Our deepest sympathy.

    Chris and Harry Elekes

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  2. Dr. E. Lisbeth (Betty) Donaldson :

    How fitting that Ethel’s Memorial Service will be on International Women’s Day! She was a role model to many female academics and we shared a common first name. Travel well Ethel. Your friends and family will miss you, but we offer thanks for having shared some of the life journey with you.
    With appreciation, Ethel Lisbeth (Betty) Donaldson,Ph.D. Professor Emerita, University of Calgary.

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  3. Helen Diemert :

    As a close friend and colleague of Ethel, I missed her E mail this year and now realize that she is only a most pleasant memory from our years together at the U. of C. She was an admired professor, a gracious hostess and a true friend. I shall be communing with her funeral on Friday. Hard to realize that she is gone. From Fargo, ND, I send my heartfelt condolences to her family.

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  4. Dr. Catharine Warren :

    I was sorry to hear of the passing Dr. King. I am happy I did see her recently at Eleanor’s book reading. I’ll be unable to attend her funeral. My condolences to all members of the her family.
    Sincerely, Catharine Warren.

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  5. Lisa Atkinson :

    My sincere condolences to Ethel’s family at her loss. I met Ethel several times over the past few years when she donated records and memorabilia from her years at the University of Calgary to the University Archives. We also collaborated on a presentation to the Association of University Women a couple of years ago. I was so impressed at Ethel’s clarity of memory, her dignity and the generosity with which she shared her recollections. She will be missed.

    Lisa Atkinson
    University of Calgary Archives

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  6. Kate Bentley, Faculty Women's Club :

    Dear Frank and Jeanette,
    We were saddened to hear the news of Ethel’s passing. Ethel was one of the founding members of the Faculty Women’s Club in 1956, and served as Honorary Co-President during our Golden Anniversary celebrations in 2006. We last saw Ethel in January 2011 at a Meet and Greet with Dr. Elizabeth Cannon.
    With regards, Kate Bentley for Faculty Women’s Club

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