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PLATTOR – Dr. Emma

September 10, 1926 – September 23, 2010

A truly great teacher has passed away. Dr. Emma Plattor died on September 23, 2010 at the age of 84. Her work with teachers and educators throughout Canada and the United States lives on.

Emma was born in Brooklyn, obtained her teaching certificate from Brooklyn College, taught elementary and junior high school and was a school administrator in New York. She later gained her Doctoral degree from the University of Rochester and, before coming to the University of Calgary in 1968, taught at Auburn University in Alabama and Tulane University in New Orleans.

Emma was a caring, resourceful, innovative professor who was never too busy for her students or her friends. She was always at the forefront of her profession: director of the Canadian Council of Teachers of English, editor of The Journal of Educational Thought, executive member of the International Listening Association, and founder and editor of Highway One, a publication for English Language Arts teachers. These are but some of the positions she held. She was also a leader in the development of distance education and of programs on staff development. She was the author of more than a dozen books, including The Leaf Not the Tree, and Action English and of hundreds of articles published in numerous professional journals.

Emma’s work was highly appreciated. Among her other honours, she was voted Superior Teacher in the Faculty of Education (University of Calgary) and Outstanding Professor by the Education Undergraduate Society, and won the Neil Hunter Research Award.

She is survived by her son, Eric of Edmonton; her daughter, Candace of Vancouver; and her long-time companion, William Washburn of Calgary.

Above all, Emma was a beloved, knowledgeable, compassionate woman and an educational leader whose positive influence, through her many students, colleagues, friends and writings, endures and will continue to endure for a very long time.

A memorial event will be held. Details will be announced in the future. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. Dr. Plattor is recognized at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario as a constant, strong supporter. Gifts in her memory might be made to the organization at Stratford Shakespeare Festival, P.O. Box 520, Stratford, ON N5A 6V2, Telephone: 1-800-567-1600, www.stratfordfestival.ca.

In living memory of Emma Plattor, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH Telephone: (403) 276-2296.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Iris McIntyre :

    My sincere condolences to Eric and Candace on the loss of their mother, and to William Washburn and to all her other friends on the loss we all share.

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  2. Louise Taylor :

    I wish to extend my sympathies to the family and friends of Emma.

    I worked with Emma as her physiotherapist over the last decade and was impressed and inspired by her determination to be as fit and active as she could be. Despite intelligence, spirit and motivation the body eventually fails us.

    I am proud to have known her.

    Warmest regards,

    Louise Taylor

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

    Good Bye, Emma. You were a great mentor – I still advise new editors to read from the last page to the first, with a ruler over the line above the one you are “inspecting”.
    Heaven has acquired a good educator. Safe passage.
    E. Lisbeth (Betty) Donaldson, Ph.D.
    Professor Emerita

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  4. Micky Gulless :

    I am sorry to hear of Dr. Plattor’s passing. She changed my attitude to IQ in a university class where we completed and then marked the “intelligence” test given to Grade 1 students. Later in my life she was a dear friend. I will always remember her.

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  5. Marilyn Harrison :

    My sincere condolences to Emma’s children and to Bill Washburn. Emma’s dedication as an educator encouraged and inspired excellence.

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  6. Dr. Charles Curry :

    Condolences to Emma’s children and to Bill Washburn. I still remember and use many workshop techniques taught to me by Emma. A one time opportunity for a shared drink in Seattle after Wagner’s Ring with Bill and Emma will always be cherished. Safe passage Emma.

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  7. Condolences to all who loved Emma. And especially to Bill, my long time friend and colleague. I wish you well, Bill
    Emma was an outstanding lady.

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  8. I worked with Dr. Em Plattor in the same department at the University of Calgary, where I knew her well for a period of some 20 years, even after her retirement. Her enthusiasm for teaching and learning was absolutely contagious. Her influence extended to hundreds of teachers, and her commitment to education, literature, and the arts will not soon be forgotten. My wife, Marnie Patrick-Roberts, joins me in expressing condolences to Eric and Candace, and to our close friend Bill Washburn.

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  9. Dear Bill,
    We were so sorry to learn of the passing of Em. I, and the Festival Team extend of most sincere condolences to you and Em’s family. She was a lovey lady and I really enjoyed the chance to get to know her. Her commitment to the Festival and to arts education is to be commended. Through her generosity she leaves a wonderful legacy – many young people will have the chance to experience live, classical theatre and to enjoy the magic that it offers. She will be missed.

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  10. Barbara Fanson :

    Dear Bill,
    I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Em — I know what a special person she was to you — and all of us. I miss your yearly trips to Ontario; it seems like years since we went to Stratford or Niagara-on-the-Lake to see a theatrical production. I’ve learned a lot from the two of you and always enjoyed our dinners.
    Em used to say “If you can’t travel first class, don’t go;” I can just imagine her current journey.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you Bill and I hope you can get back to some kind of normalcy soon. Love always.

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  11. Charlie and Margaret Webber :

    We extend our condolences to Emma’s loved ones. Margaret still recalls with fondness the undergraduate classes that she took with Emma. I continue to benefit from what I learned by working alongside Emma at the University of Calgary. Like so many others, we grew from knowing her.

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  12. Rory and Lynda Smith :

    Emma touched our lives in such wonderful ways with her sense of humour and zest for learning. We enjoyed our evenings with her and Bill, discussing technology and Art. We will miss her!

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