George Haley

Obituary of George Thomas Haley

It is with deep sadness that the family of George Thomas Haley announce his passing on November 20th, 2020. During his brief time in palliative care he was never alone and was supported by his family who love him and will miss him very much. George was born in North Sydney, Cape Breton and grew-up in "the tank" in Sydney Mines. An intellectual, he completed studies at St. Francis Xavier University, the University of New Brunswick and Indiana University. He spent most of his career as a professor in the Faculty of Education at UNB, where he taught English Education and served as the Director of Student Teachers. During his academic career, and well into retirement, George was involved in numerous international collaborations in England, Mexico and Bhutan. He initiated the UNB Teacher Exchange program, a long-lasting cooperative project involving UNB, the New Brunswick Department of Education, the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association and Wolverhampton Polytechnic in Walsall, England, and was involved for many years in a partnership between the UNB Faculty of Engineering and el Centro Interdiscipinario de Investigación para el Desarrollo Integral Regional in Oaxaca, Mexico, where George spent many winters. As part of his work in Bhutan, George was a co-author of The Silken Knot, the foundational document setting the outcomes for English instruction for schools K-12 in the Kingdom. During his many years of collaboration with the Bhutanese Ministry and consultants from UNB Faculty of Education, he travelled the country providing professional development to support the implementation of the curriculum. During this time, he developed a great respect for Bhutanese educators. George was passionate about his academic work, at home and abroad, and through it developed lifelong friendships. George loved art, especially New Brunswick pottery, and throughout his life immersed himself in the beauty and power of language. He read poetry and prose aloud to family and friends, and the works of Lear, Whitman, Cohen, Yeats and others filled his home. He was always ready to dive into a lively discussion of ideas, especially politics, and loved to cook and to host friends and family. He was a generous man who was most empathic towards people experiencing poverty and homelessness. He was a loyal and true friend and, above all, he loved his family. He is survived by his wife and best friend of more than forty years, Joanne LeBlanc-Haley; their only child, Tobin; son-in-law Greg Bowley and granddaughter Selby. He also leaves behind his sons Joseph and Geordie (Lisa); granddaughter Gem; and daughter Lori; brothers Terry (Nancy), Garnet (Jean), and Cyril (Bonnie); sisters-in-law Michele LeBlanc, Nancy Wolstenholme Haydon, and Françoise Haley; brothers-in-law Bill LeBlanc (Crystal) and Kerry Wolstenholme (Linda); mother-in-law Ferne Wolstenholme; many nieces and nephews and close friends, including Stephen Carter, Robert Hawkes and Marion Leaman. He was predeceased by his brother Frank; sister Maureen MacNeil; brother-in-law Tommy MacNeil; and many dear friends, including Allen Selby. There will be an empty spot in our hearts. Due to COVID19, there will be no memorial at this time. Should you wish to remember George, do what he did: share the money you have in your wallet without judgement or commentary with someone you see who is in need. His family would like to express the deepest of gratitude to the doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff working at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, especially those working in the ER, on 4NW, and in Palliative Care for their compassion.
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