Ursula Franklin
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Ursula M. FRANKLIN

September 16, 1921 – July 22, 2016

Dr. Ursula Martius Franklin died peacefully on Friday, July 22nd, surrounded by family and friends, at Christie Gardens in Toronto. She is lovingly remembered by her husband Fred, her children Martin and Monica Franklin, their spouses Carole Angus and Raul Mejia, and her four grandsons Alejandro, Camilo, Nicolas and Andre.



Ursula was born in Germany and came to Canada in 1949 as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto with a PhD in experimental physics. She enjoyed a marriage of over 60 years and an outstanding life as an academic. She joined the faculty of University of Toronto Department of Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials Science in 1967 and became a full professor in 1973. After her retirement at age 65, she found a U of T home at Massey College. She was a scientist, a feminist, a Quaker, a pacifist, an activist, and a treasured mentor to many. She was active in many areas and forums, among them Voice of Women, Science Council of Canada (the Conserver Society Report of 1977), NSERC and Ideas (the Massey Lectures in 1989). She was involved in an early class action case: it resulted in 2002 with about 60 retired women faculty receiving pay equity settlements acknowledging long-standing gender barriers and pay discrimination. She was a Companion of the Order of Canada, Fellow of the Royal Society and awarded the Order of Ontario. She received the Pearson Peace Medal, the City of Toronto award of merit, and numerous honorary degrees from Canadian universities along with various other awards and recognitions.



The family would like to thank the many people who relayed their ongoing thoughts and best wishes, and those involved in Ursula's care, particularly in the last month. The family is extremely grateful to Linda R., Trudy C., James O., Aileen B.M., Eleanor P., Vanda V., Erika W., Rosemary M., and Bruna N. Special thanks must also be given to all the staff at Christie Gardens where she received outstanding care.



If you wish, please consider donations to the Ursula Franklin Academy, Toronto Monthly Meeting (Quakers), Christie Gardens, Massey College of the University of Toronto, or Doctors Without Borders (M.S.F.) in her name.



In Ursula's honour, consider small acts that will make the world and our society a better place. Ursula was a proponent of "the earthworm theory"- it is the little acts that prepare the soil and nurture the seedlings so that bigger actions can follow and flourish.



Details of a celebration of Ursula's life will be announced at a later date.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Toronto Star from Jul. 24 to Jul. 25, 2016.
Memories & Condolences
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16 entries
August 20, 2016
An inspiring teacher, she changed her students' lives
Carole Stimmell
August 17, 2016
A life well-lived,your tremendous spirit and intellect will be missed.
Bill Sinclair, St. Stephen's Community House
August 7, 2016
On behalf of my mother, Miriam May, who knew Dr. Franklin at U of T and through Voice of Women, my condolences and very best wishes to her family. Mum is very saddened at her friend's loss. ~Edith McLeod
Miriam May
July 30, 2016
Elke Mutterer
July 29, 2016
christine burt
July 28, 2016
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Ursula Franklin at the age of 94. Ursula had a deep and abiding interest in the school that bears her name. We are grateful for all her advice and guidance through the years. On behalf of the School Advisory Council (SAC) of the Ursula Franklin Academy (UFA), we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Franklin family.

Loretta Faveri & P. C. Choo
Co-Chairs
SAC, UFA
P. C. Choo
July 26, 2016
The world has lost a great light. Condolences to the family. She will be missed.
July 26, 2016
Dear Fred, Martin and Monica,
My sincere condolences on your loss. I have always admired Ursula and Fred's accomplishments and kindness. I think back fondly on time spent with the family.
Charity Haines
July 26, 2016
Ursula brought intellectual rigour, focus, passion, and moral strength and courage to her work for peace and justice. I listened to her speak many times. She was and remains a brilliant light for peace in a somewhat darkened world.
Heather Eaton
July 25, 2016
True condolences and more to all family, friends and associates; as well as to all who, like myself have gained dearly from her intelligent and timely speeches and Q and A's including the Massey Lectures, one of which I am now hearing. As an brilliant peace activist she will always be remembered.
Rest in peace great woman . . .
Scott MacArthur
July 25, 2016
My sincere condolences to Dr. Franklin's family. I was a student in the Dept. of Metallurgy and Materials Science at U of T during 1971 -1974. Professor Franklin was one of the nicest and most helpful Professors I ever had. I have kept my formal report on Iron and Steel that I prepared and that she marked in March 1973. Her hand written comments were so constructive and encouraging.

Throughout the years since then, I have enjoyed reading about her and listening to her occasional interviews on the radio. She was such a remarkable person in so many ways.

Her time with us on earth was a special gift. She will be truly missed, but certainly never forgotten.
Ken Fraser
July 25, 2016
Ursula was a brilliant women, thinker, pacifist and friend of so many. Active in Voice of Women Canada. I knew her through Kay MacPherson and my mother Jean Woodsworth. One day I heard her speak and knew that is how I wanted to speak. She was intelligent, thoughtful, thorough and so principled. I hope the Canadian government will give her a lasting public place in our country. I hope the family will hold a public memorial that we can join.
Ellen Woodsworth
July 25, 2016
As s scientist employed by Ontario Research Foundation in 1963 I remember having many scientific discussions with Ursula. She always was an inspiration for my scientific career.
James McGrath
July 25, 2016
Ursula was an Honorary Member of the Beta State Ontario organization of the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society. She was an awe-inspiring woman and will be missed by many. On behalf of the Beta State Ontario members, I would like to extend our condolences to Ursula's family.
Janet Gollan
July 24, 2016
I want to offer my condolences to the entire family and community who was touched by her knowingly and unknowingly. She was always a source of inspiration and joy. Her enthusiasm for life was undeniable. She was never afraid to take on change but she also did not shy away from letting everyone know what she thought. The world is less complete.
Carmen Perillo
July 24, 2016
Dear Martin and family. Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss. I so admired your mother. She was so accomplished and yet never flashy about her accomplishments. She will be sorely missed but her contributions to the world will not be forgotten.
Marta Legrady
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