Barbara Luena Emmerson (nee Harrison)
February 21, 1941 - September 6, 2012
As she lay at home in her beautiful sunroom, surrounded by family, prayers and hymns, Barbara drew her last breath, knowing that everything she believed in was right: That love is stronger than death. That education is more powerful than ignorance. That stories are more important than facts. That travel is education. That a child can change the world. That the bonds of family matter more than anything else. Barbara lived her beliefs and this was reflected in everything she did.Born in Hamilton, Ontario, her parents George and Phyllis Harrison laid the foundations for her beliefs, which were complemented by her husband and beloved companion of 49 years, Derek Emmerson. Her passion for education led her to teach. She became a Principal in the Richelieu Valley School Board in Quebec, followed by Director of the Junior School at Montreal's Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School, and Head of Vancouver's Crofton House School. She worked at the Alcanta School in China as Head of the English Department, where she mentored young Chinese and Canadian teachers and fell in love with China's culture and people. She then returned to Canada, becoming Head of Glenlyon Norfolk School. As an educational leader, she constructed buildings, stayed ahead of the technology curve, inspired teachers and cultivated young minds. After her retirement to Salt Spring Island, BC, she continued to teach and travel, most recently volunteering at a school in Egypt during the uprising in Tahrir Square.She leaves behind a loving family: husband Derek, daughters Mary Lue (Pete), Naomi (Jake), and Dawn (Gordon); grandchildren Jasper, Aysha, Callum and Ewan; her brother George Harrison (Shirley), sisters Trish Nanayakkara (Jim) and Deborah Owen (Michael) and their families.A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 20th at 2 pm, at the York Minster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge Street, Toronto. Donations in Barbara's memory can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or the Canadian Red Cross.
Saturday September 22, 2012
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