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February 11, 1937 - June 9, 2023
In loving memory ~
This is my fond farewell to family, friends, former students and colleagues in the several communities that I called home and that enriched my life: Port Colborne and London, Ontario; Toronto and Calgary; Santa Cruz, California: Sooke, B.C.
I was an extremely lucky fellow. Lucky to be born in 1937, the year that saw the smallest crop of babies in all of 20th-century Canada — just 219,988 of us little ones. So we sailed through life as a small cohort, with fewer competitors for schooling and jobs than the later generation of Boomers.
My values were shaped by a working-class family background, and by growing up in the multicultural, industrial community of Port Colborne. I was fortunate to attend Steele Street Public School and Port Colborne High School, two institutions that gave me a schooling in self-confidence. Then the University of Western Ontario (now just Western), where I did well as a history major, edited the student newspaper, and met the love of my life, Arlene Louise Smith. Learning continued with an MA in history from the University of Toronto and a PhD. (again in history) back at Western.
Then came family, work opportunities, and moves. Arlene and I were married in 1960 and settled in London, Ontario. During the next few years, I enjoyed teaching history at South Secondary School and history of education at Western's faculty of education, while we welcomed daughter Shelley and son David. In 1969, we uprooted ourselves for a move to Calgary where I taught history of education and interdisciplinary Canadian studies at the University of Calgary. On to Toronto in 1983 where I left teaching behind for a few years, and focussed on writing and book-selling. Back to the University of Calgary in 1995, final retirement in 2006, and a move to Sooke, BC, in 2016.
I did a lot of writing over the years, many books and articles on Canadian history and education. My favourite books were "The Schools of Ontario, 1876-1976", "QEW: Canada's First Superhighway", "Royal Rebels" and "Suburban Modern: Postwar Dreams in Calgary." I also owned an antiquarian book-selling business, Heritage Books, during my Toronto years.
Arlene and I were particularly proud of our roles as educational and social innovators. Together, we helped found the Saturday School (an arts-centred alternative school) in Calgary in the 1970s; forty years later we were co-founders of the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners. In later years in Sooke, B.C., we were charter members of the Harbourside Cohousing community, while I was founding chair of Sooke Region Lifelong Learning.
My legacy endures through my wife, loving partner and best friend of 63 years, Arlene; two fabulous and accomplished children — daughter Shelley Anne Stamp of Santa Cruz, California and son David Andrew Stamp (Emily Menezes) of Victoria, BC; grandchildren Noah and Isabel Stamp; Evan, Sean and Clare Byram; sister Nancy (Sigmar Gyetko) of Port Colborne and her extended family; and by the caring community at Harbourside Cohousing here in Sooke, B.C. I was predeceased by my parents, Thomas Carson Stamp and Clarice (Miles) Stamp.
A Celebration of Life will be held for me in Sooke, B.C. in mid-July. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners

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