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MARTELL, GEORGE March 3, 1940 - April 15, 2019 Aged 79. Peacefully at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto. Born in Halifax, NS, he studied at Dalhousie, the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics. George taught social sciences at York University from 1968 until his retirement in 2005, but is best known as a longtime education activist, writer and editor, firmly anchored on the Canadian left. He served as an NDP trustee on the old Toronto Board of Education in the late 1970s and was education advisor to the Ontario NDP at Queens Park prior to the Rae government's election in 1990. He was founding editor of two influential magazines for education activists, This Magazine Is About Schools (from 1966) and Our Schools/Our Selves (from 1988). He worked tirelessly to bring together Ontario teachers, school-board workers, parents, students, and union and community activists into broader education coalitions. After his retirement and even as his health began to fail, he continued working with Toronto's Somali community on educational issues, editing an online magazine Education Action, and finding the energy in the last two years to put together two books for posthumous publication: a collection of his most important articles, and a study of education in Ontario combined with an assessment of the future for socialist politics and community building. George is survived by his beloved wife Elaine MacIntosh. He was much loved by the children of his extended family: Liisa Repo Martell, Marya Duckworth, Sylvia Duckworth, Tobin MacIntosh, Stephanie MacIntosh and Ryan MacIntosh, and his seven grandchildren. Visitation will be held at the Giffen-Mack Funeral Home (2570 Danforth Ave., Toronto, M4C 1L3, 416-698-3121, near the corner of Main and Danforth) on April 23rd and 24th between 1 and 7 p.m. A memorial event will be held on June 19, 2019 from 6-9 p.m at Crow's Theatre, 345 Carlaw Ave. More to follow in School Magazine at In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to School Magazine by contacting

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Published in Toronto Star on Apr. 18, 2019.
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Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
October 18, 2019
Thank you for being such a supportive, encouraging and kind person. You will never know how much you have influenced my life. Rest in peace.
Darlean Rossi (nee Fester)
April 28, 2019
George, together with Satu, was an inspiration to those of us who cared about education. He energetically supported my first film, Tomorrow's Children, working with children who were so confined and stigmatized by "opportunity "class streaming. He contributed so much to our community for so long. My condolences to his family
Laura Sky
April 23, 2019
George was my star. He provided the thoughtful criticism to keep incrementalist reformers like me on the right track and often chided us for being to slow to bring about desperately needed changes. I miss him every time public education is mentioned. I will miss his humor, hope and determination to make things better for all students in these hard times with "neo cons" under every rock.
Robert Spencer
April 23, 2019
I enjoyed working with George over the years when I was education critic for the caucus. A wonderful lively mind and incredibly principled. Good fun too!
Richard Johnston
April 23, 2019
George was one of the most committed and passionate education advocate I've met. He was a warrior against right wing governments' attacks on public education. My condolences to the family.
Vivian McCaffrey
April 22, 2019
I remember George for bringing Haagen Dazs ice cream to family socials, but also, and most importantly, for his humanity, the manner in which he engaged you personally. This he did with a twinkle in his eyes and that engaging smile. In discussion, his passion and insight into social justice issues and educational reform came to the fore. There was no mistaking where he stood.
Aware of past struggles, he felt blessed to be able to share his love with those who loved him and the broader community to which he had contributed so much.
To all you family members who loved and supported him, my heart felt condolences and support. John
john abraham
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