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Saturday December 29, 2012

ELIZABETH WINIFRED BREWSTER
August 26, 1922 - December 26, 2012
Elizabeth Brewster was born in Chipman, New Brunswick, daughter of Frederick John Brewster and Ethel May Day Brewster, and youngest sister of Percy, Cyril, Marion and Eleanor. She was educated at rural New Brunswick schools and at the Universities of New Brunswick, Radcliffe, Toronto and Indiana. At Toronto she earned a degree in Library Science, and at Indiana she earned a Ph.D. with a dissertation on English poet George Crabbe. She worked in libraries at Queen's University, Carlton University, Mount Allison University, the Legislative Library in Fredericton, and the University of Alberta. She also did some teaching while she was at Alberta, and in 1972 she accepted a position in the English Department at the University of Saskatchewan, where she remained until her retirement in 1990. Her teaching there was focused on English-Canadian Literature and on Creative Writing.
Her career as a writer began at the age of twelve, when she had a poem published in the St. John Telegraph. While still in high school she sent some poems to a poetry contest and as a result met P.K.Page, who was one of the judges; the friendship that ensued lasted until Page's recent death. While at the University of New Brunswick she was one of the founders of The Fiddlehead, now the longest-running of English Canada's literary magazines. Her first published volume of poetry, East Coast (1951), was followed by 22 more books of poetry, two novels, three books of short stories, and two volumes of memoirs. Notable titles include Passage of Summer (1969), The Sisters (1974), Entertaining Angels (1988), and Time and Seasons (2009). Collected Poems appeared in 2003.
She has been honored many times for her writing; awards include an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, the University of New Brunswick; a Governor-General's award nomination; the Saskatchewan Arts Board Lifetime Award for Excellence in the Arts; the Saskatchewan Order of Merit; a Saskatchewan Centennial Medal; the Order of Canada; and a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.
She is survived by her nieces Cora Allen and Ruby Bagley of New Brunswick and her nephew Dwight Brewster of Victoria, and by many friends in the writing community in Saskatchewan and across Canada. A convert to Judaism, she took an active part in her local synagogue, Congregation Agudas Israel.
A Funeral Service will be held at Congregation Agudas Israel (715 McKinnon Avenue, Saskatoon) on Friday, December 28th 2012, at 10:30 a.m. followed by interment at the Agudas Israel Jewish Cemetery and a Meal of Condolence at the Edwards Family Centre (4th Ave. & 25th St.). Flowers are gratefully declined. Contributions to a charity of your choice in Elizabeth's name would be welcome. Condolences may be sent to mail@saskatoonfuneralhome.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Saskatoon Funeral Home. 244-5577

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