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OSLER – Margaret J.

1942 – 2010

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the untimely passing of our good friend and colleague Dr. Margaret Jo Osler on Wednesday, September 15, 2010. Maggie, as she liked to be known, was a professor of history of philosophy and science at the University of Calgary for thirty-five years. She was predeceased by her parents, Drs. Abraham and Sonia Osler and by her life companion, Dr. Betty Flagler. She is survived by her Aunt Sylvia, and cousins Joan Crespi, Susan Osler Metzger, Miriam Osler Hyman, Amy Osler Lowenthal and David C. Osler, and many, many close friends and colleagues.

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In living memory of Maggie Osler, 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. Cooper H Langford :

    Maggie was a remarkable scholar, a broad gage intellect and a good friend on a hike or ski outing. She will be very much missed by those of us who teach in Science Technology and Society (a program she formerly coordinated) and by the students who had the rich opportunity to study history of science with her.

    Cooper Langford

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  2. I am very sorry to hear of Dr. Osler’s passing. I knew Dr. Osler when I worked in the History Department and always enjoyed the time I spent in her company. So sad.

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  3. Sarah and Martin Staum :

    We profoundly mourn the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Maggie Osler. She was an irreplaceable true “original” – a lively, caring person and a meticulous and innovative scholar. We extend our sympathy to her aunt and cousins.

    Sarah and Martin Staum

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  4. Donovan Williams :

    As someone who interviewed Margaret when she applied for a postion in the Department of History, and recommended that she be appointed, I can only add my intense sorrow at her departure from an academic life so well spent for the benefit of students and colleagues. Well done, Margaret; our sincere best wishes and happy memories be with you forever.

    Donovan Williams

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  5. I met Maggie in her first year in Calgary, when I sat in as a guest in her course on History of Science. Then two years ago, I sat in on another of her courses. I was greatly impressed by her breadth of knowledge, and her ability to communicate her enthusiasm, and her critical thinking, to her students. She made many friends, and she made a great contribution to their lives, and to the university. She will be greatly missed.
    Ken Sanderson

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  6. I heard of Dr. Osler’s passing with profound sadness. The University of Calgary has lost a superb teacher & scholar, who I deeply admired. She touched many of us with both her challenging mind and her warmth, and we won’t forget.

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  7. I first met Maggie when she was on my MA exam committee, and I came to know her as an extremely sharp person with a great sense of humour. She will be greatly missed by us in the department of philosophy.

    Mike Steiner

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  8. Maggie was my MA supervisor over 20 years ago and I shall miss her deeply. She had a brilliant mind, a wicked sense of humour, and sharp insights into human nature. I’m glad she got to see the publication of her latest book which adds even more to the important contributions she made to the history and philosophy of science.

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  9. Barbara Flagler :

    To all the members of Maggie’s family and to her close friends, My mother Mary and I are very sad that Maggie, our friend for so long, is dead. It came as a shock to us. We had not seen or talked to Maggie since June, when we had a good visit with her and remarked on how well and happy she seemed to be. We are very sorry. I want you to know that for us, Maggie always represented quality, no matter what area of her life we might mention. In her scholarship, her cooking, her music, her reading, and her generosity she stood for quality. We will miss her; even though we did not see as much of her as we used when she and my sister were such close friends, still, we felt her presence here in Calgary. My sons, Julian and Jay, also send their condolences. Maggie was a much-loved, key part of their young lives. All the best to you all. Warmly, Barbara Flagler

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  10. I interacted with Maggie mostly as the Science Liaison on the Humanities Institute, since her expertise on the history of science provided an important connection. Whenever I needed to know who was working in a particular subfield, she was the person I contacted. She was invariably cheerful and helpful. She will be greatly missed.

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  11. I took a number of courses from Maggie as an undergraduate and had the good fortune of having her on my master’s committee. I loved her no nonsense approach and benefited frequently from her kind and patient teaching style. I was deeply saddened to hear that she has passed. Thanks so much, Maggie. I appreciate everything you did for me.

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  12. Margaret Brown :

    I was shocked and saddened to learn about Maggie Osler’s death. We were best friends from about age 9 till 14, and kept in touch only sporadically after that. I visited Maggie in Calgary about 3 or 4 years ago when my husband was taking a sabbatical in Saskatoon. Since then email contact has lapsed except for political types of messages forwarded to a list.
    When I first met Maggie, we were both new kids in grade 5 at P.S. 221 in Baltimore, Maryland. She had moved there from New York City and I from Palo Alto, California. We were both somewhat in culture shock in that segregated school system where morning prayers were mandatory. Both of us suffered with the very uncool name, Margaret, in a sea of Nancys and Lindas and Carols. We didn’t know how to play jacks or jump-rope or the type of hopscotch played in that part of the world which involved kicking a rubber heel out of the grid. So we spent a lot of time hanging out at the corner of the playground and staying overnight at each other’s houses. Maggie’s parents introduced me to bagels and lox, pickled herring in sour cream, chopped liver, and kosher dill pickles. Her dad was a bacteriologist at Johns Hopkins Medical School, but had at one time studied to become a rabbi. He listened to Yiddish radio on Sunday mornings. Her mom had originally aspired to be an engineer, but ended up with a PhD in Psychology, teaching at Goucher College near Baltimore. Later Maggie and I were sent to different Junior High Schools and High Schools in Baltimore during which time she skipped a grade. She went to Swarthmore and I to a college on the West Coast. At one point we were both in Oregon for a couple of years and were able to do a little skiing or hiking together. On my most recent visit to see her in Calgary, I saw that some things had never changed—Maggie’s love of cats, good food, and a beautiful and quiet living environment. Her cat, Jackson Brown, was a charmer. I hope that if he is still alive, he has found a good home. One surprise was Maggie’s love of country music. It must have been acquired during her years in Calgary. My siblings, husband, and I remember Maggie fondly. Me ke aloha.
    Margaret Brown

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  13. I was Maggie’s optician …..she always was lots of fun to work with…..we shared lots of stories and laughs….she always reminded me of what good people are like. Although I saw her only once and awhile I felt caring and love …thanks for being my friend Maggie….. will miss you, Brian

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  14. Dr. Lori Woods :

    I fondly remember taking Maggie’s undergraduate history courses at the University of Calgary in the 1990s: “Magic, Science & Religion,” “The Scientific Revolution,” and later on, “God and Nature.” I was a science major at the time, and had planned to enter the teacher education program. I credit Maggie with getting me interested in history, a field which I eventually pursued at the doctorate level. I now teach courses in the history of science and of medicine at a small private university in Pennsylvania. Maggie had a great deal of influence on my life and career, much more than she probably realized. I deeply regret that I was unable to tell her this before she passed…
    -Lori Woods

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  15. Mary E. Gindhart :

    My condolences on the death of Maggie Osler. I was a graduate student with her in the History and Science Department at Indiana University. She opened up the academic world to me in a new and exciting way. I heard about her death through the May/June 2011 Indiana Alumni Magazine. May she rest in peace.

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