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November 12, 1949 – September 6, 2020



November 12, 1949 – September 6, 2020

With great sorrow, we share that Laura Taylor PhD died, at the age of 70, on September. 6, 2020 in the St. Boniface general Hospital after a brief illness. 

Laura was born in Hamilton, Ontario to late parents, David and Gloria (Baxter) Taylor. She leaves her brother Rob, wife Sarah, and five nieces and nephews, Kassi, Ryan (Franzi), Brianna, Hayley and Duncan; and one great-niece Niah;.  Laura leaves her special cousin Sandra Taylor in Ontario; special friends Bonnie Smith-Froude and Dwight Froude of Winnipeg, and Pat Slade and Shirley McMahon of Ontario; friends from U of M’s Faculty of Social Work, and cousins in the U.S. and Panama. 

Laura’s life in academia began with a BA from McMaster University followed by an MSW from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1973. After working in the field of mental health for several years, Laura achieved a PhD in Social Work at the University of Toronto in 1988. Laura’s career as Prof. Taylor began at Ryerson Polytechnic University, leading to the University of Toronto, the University of Regina, the University of Windsor, and finally the University of Manitoba, both at the main campus in Winnipeg and the access program in Thompson, Manitoba.

Laura was a gifted teacher who believed in teaching adult learners the value of play - her teaching philosophy was to be so creative that her classes were never routine, boring or predictable.


The surprising noises coming from Laura’s classrooms belied the stolid and staid setting of the university. Laura applied what she’d learned leading summer camps and teaching kindergarten kids to engaging adult students, inspiring them to demonstrate creativity, whether in making their journals as artistically interesting as possible for the reader, [loudly] debating the merits of the best book to teach non-social workers about mental illness, or constructing the best song to demonstrate their learning during a semester.

Believing that experience is sometimes the best teacher, Laura often designed experiential exercises combined with art or photography for her students. The University of Manitoba honoured her with a Teaching Award in 2012 after a student nominated Laura.

Beyond teaching, Laura’s family and dogs were most meaningful in her life. Her family had collies while Laura was growing up, and as an adult, Laura ‘parented’ border collies beginning with Dinah, and then Bonnie Maggie and Annie Laurie. Laura also volunteered with the Manitoba Brain Injury Association in Winnipeg.

Laura will be remembered as a kind, caring, and extremely generous person who was always available to share her support and wisdom. She fought her health issues with grace, determination and tenacity. Laura’s unique personality and quirky sense of humour leave all of us with wonderful memories --- the world is a duller place without Laura Taylor in it.

A memorial service will be held at St. John’s College chapel at 2 p.m. on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Those wishing to attend should pre-register by emailing the following:

or call (204) 474-8531). Laura will be buried in St. John's Anglican Church Cemetery, 272 Wilson St E, Ancaster, ON L9G 2B9, just outside of Hamilton, Ontario. In the meantime, Laura’s family kindly requests that all of Laura's friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by sharing your own photos and/or sharing your own memories and stories using the comment section on this page.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Laura’s name can be made to D'Arcy's Arc, the Elizabeth Hill Scholarship fund to assist First Nations students with a special interest in mental health services advance their training in social work at the graduate level, or any worthy recipient of your choice.  


Cremation & Life Celebration Planning

530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

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