Dr. Elizabeth Lee Strong

March 2, 1945 to January 10, 2024


It is with profound sadness that we announce the peaceful but unexpected passing of Dr. Elizabeth Strong, in her 79th year, on January 10th, 2024. A wonderful daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Predeceased by her parents Leah (Woolfrey) and Jim Strong. Left with fond and much loving memories, brother Jim (Glenda), sister Pearl (Hugh) and brother Percy (Jean). Nieces and nephews Jennifer (Christian), Christina (Scott), Steve (Lorri), John (Sherry), Janet (Andrew), Tim (Dana), Christopher and Andrew (Jennifer). Grandnieces and grandnephews Ben, Sam, Elexus, Tyler, Charlie, Katelyn, Nathan, Peter, Daniel, Madeline, Lukas, Logan, Madison, and Henry.

At her heart, Elizabeth was a teacher with an inquisitive nature. She never stopped learning and was always happy to share her knowledge about topics as diverse as home maintenance, literature and gardening, with family, friends and neighbours.

Elizabeth’s academic and teaching career focused on “Children’s Literature”. Throughout her very successful teaching career, children and students from an early age to the post-secondary and graduate level benefited greatly from her expertise. Aunt “B”/Aunt Elizabeth/Liz/Ms. Strong brought much fun and life to the many books she loved to share with everyone.

An avid gardener and outdoor enthusiast, she would say that she was in her “total bliss” when she was at her self-designed A-frame cabin in Appleton.

Elizabeth was a very independent, talented and accomplished woman. She could serve a delicious five course meal just as well as she could fix your snow blower; both tasks she would complete with minimal difficulty and much joy.

She encouraged all her family members and showed up to support them in their activities and accomplishments. Elizabeth was always ready for a bit of fun; her antics brought much laughter and enjoyment to all. She will be lovingly remembered and deeply and forever missed.

The family will receive visitors at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road, on Sunday, January 28th, 2024 from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM.

A celebration of life service will be held on Friday, August 9, 2024 at Fraser Road United Church, 1 Brochan Street,  Gander, NL. 

Flowers are gratefully accepted or a donation in her memory may be made to the Discovery Play Center at MUN (https://www.discoveryplaycentre.com/about-us).



2-4 p.m. on January 28, 2024

7-9 p.m. on January 28, 2024

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
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I just learned of Dr. Elizabeth’s Strong’s passing. She was an amazing teacher who left a huge impact on me. I wanted to be a teacher, especially a teacher who would bring a good book to life whether it be a novel study I was teaching in grade eight, or a story I was reading to a group of children in kindergarten. She taught us teachers how to work with our students and how to build their confidence through quality children’s literature. God bless you Dr. Strong! Your impact on the lives of children in this province is outstanding. Sincerely condolences to family and friends.

During my life as a student and throughout my career in education, I had the very good fortune of interacting with Elizabeth on many occasions. If anyone ever exemplified the adage, “To teach is to touch a life forever”, it was Elizabeth. She was the consummate professional: dedicated, committed, enthusiastic, and always helpful. Her vivacious and engaging personality was infectious, and to be in her company as a fellow educator or friend was truly a gift.

I am so saddened by her passing, but I know her lasting legacy to education and the students she has taught will go on for many, many years to come. She fostered a love of learning and reading in all of them which they will now pass on to their own students. Her influence will endure in all who were fortunate to call her colleague and friend. My deepest sympathies to her family.

Pearl and Family,
We’re saddened to hear of the sudden loss of your beloved sister, and aunt. Her strong influence on each of you and all the educators she’s shared her expertise with, will long be treasured. Our thoughts are with you at this time.

Elizabeth was a colleague and mentor to me, though her passion for children’s literature inspired many young teachers and the grad students who took her courses.

Any academic journey requires supporters and mentors, and Elizabeth was both for me. As the current Professor of Children’s Literature in Memorial’s Faculty of Education, I still reflect on her own governing precept – that the most important thing we could do in this job was to get good books into the hands of teachers and their students, and that if we were successful in our job, we could inspire a love of reading that would last their entire lives.

It was and is a job well worth doing, and one she did very well indeed.

So sad to hear of Liz’s sudden passing. I was privileged to have worked with her for a number of years when we were program coordinators at the Avalon Consolidated School Board and later collaborating on some courses in the Education Faculty at MUN. In recent years we have visited her at her cottage in Appleton where she enjoyed salmon fishing on the “pink rock”. Liz was a great person, very dedicated to her work and her family. She will be greatly missed

Our deepest sympathy to the family!
When I was interviewed by Mr. Bishop at Vanier Elementary, in 1974,,he proudly introduced me to his pride and joy, Elizabeth! From then on, we spent many a weekend Skiing and socializing! They are such wonderful memories. Carl and I feel sure that family memories will help as time passes by!
Carl and Betty Cooper

We are saddened to hear of Elizabeth’s sudden passing.

Our deepest condolences to all her family, friends and colleagues.

Faculty & Staff
Faculty of Education
Memorial University

I am shocked and deeply saddened to hear of Elizabeth’s passing. Her love of teaching and learning was exemplified over and over again in her work as a teacher and a coordinator with our school board.
My sincere condolences to her family. She will be missed by all who knew her.

I was saddened to hear of Elizabeth’s sudden passing. Our educational paths crossed many times while at Memorial , as a teacher and coordinator. I was her replacement for three years while she completed her Doctorate. We had serious educational discussions and lots of laughs. She left her mark on the educational system in NL. My condolences to her family.

So sad to read of Elizabeth’s passing. She was one of my favourite professors at Memorial University. She was so passionate about the importance of reading good quality children’s literature to students; many of the books she shared then are still some of my absolute favourites today. She really ignited my love for reading and for that I am very grateful. Deepest condolences to all her family and friends. 🙏🏼🤍

So very sad to hear this sad news. I admired Elizabeth and she taught me a lot.

The loss of a family member and friend leaves such a hole in our hearts, Elizabeth has left good memories that will be cherished by her family and friends. My thoughts and prayers are with the Strong family

So sorry to hear of Liz’s passing. While I have not seen her in many years, she had a huge influence on me at the beginning of my teaching career. I remember the fun times at her house looking at children’s literature and brainstorming the endless possibilities for the classroom. She made me feel proud and excited to be teacher. Her enthusiasm was contagious! My prayers and thoughts are with her family and friends.

I was both shocked and saddened to read of Liz’s passing in a recent edition of the Telegram. We spent many years together on the Avalon Consolidated School Board Central Office Staff as Program Coordinators. We worked together on many committees and teacher inservices and I always found her to be very knowledgeable in the area of children’s literature and literacy in general. With good organizational and presentation skills she always demonstrated professionalism and dedication to her work. She also had a great sense of humor and was always a major contributor to the fun of all social occasions.
I extend my condolences to her family and friends.

I am so shocked to read of Elizabeth’s passing. She was always so vibrant and active … especially grooming her garden , tending to the flowers and trees, ensuring the bird feeder was full, mowing the lawn and yes fixing just about anything that needed fixing.
We had many chats over our back yard fence and enjoyed moments of humor for sure.
My condolences to the family and her many friends.

I am deeply saddened to learn of Liz’s passing. She was always an inspiration to me. I am thankful to have called her a trusted friend and colleague. Sending sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Pearl and family
We are very sorry to hear of Elizabeth’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

I am so very sorry to learn of the passing of Dr. Elizabeth Strong. I admired her enthusiasm for the teaching of children’s literature at the Faculty of Education at MUN and was always impressed with her deep knowledge of children’s authors and books.
May she rest in peace

So sorry to hear of Elizabeth’s passing. Knew her briefly at Fitness class since September and enjoyed our chats in class and walking to and from the parking lot. . She will be really missed by all in the class who got to know her. Sincere condolences to all her family.

So very sorry to hear of Cousin Elizabeth’s passing, we extend to all, our very deepest sympathy. We share with you now in your sorrow and hope to see you on Sunday. God Bless.

I have have recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Elizabeth Strong for the first time just a few short weeks ago. I gained a connection with her instantly. I was gutted to hear of her passing. My condolences to all family and friends at this difficult time.

One of my favourite teachers. She truly inspired me to love learning. I had the pleasure of taking both undergrad and graduate courses with her. I last saw her at Chapters about 10 years ago after quite some time. She remembered me and we had a lovely chat.
Condolences to all of her loved ones.

Pearl, Hugh, and Family

Please accept our condolences upon Elizabeth’s sudden passing. She was a spirited, lively, and witty lady with whom we had many enjoyable neighbourhood conversations. Distance prevents us from attending the visitation, but you will be in our thoughts.

Heidi and Dick Janes

“Liz” a passionate educator and coach whom I truly admired. when teaching at Vanier School many years ago. Her passing was so unexpected yet we hadn’t been in contact throughout her life’s journey..
Her passion for Children’s Literature and the key strategies she taught our staff re implementation in the classroom where children became the beneficiaries..lifted our classroom practices to another level. I continued the ideas throughout my career.
I especially have fond memories of her uplifting spirit and contagious sense of humour ….
Condolences to the Strong family….Liz was larger than life and was driven by her core beliefs…thus her legacy
continues amongst many…

So sorry to hear of Elizabeth’s passing. I got to know her well during our daily workouts at the gym at the Aquarena. Condolences to the family..

I thought my list of “Teachers to thank for my love of writing, books, and story” was completed during my elementary school years until I landed in Dr. Strong’s Children’s Literature Class during my second year at MUN. Every Wednesday she unraveled the mystery behind books and invited all of us in to see how stories could not only shape how children learn, but how we chose to teach.

Dr. Strong started every class by reading aloud to us—something we thought we’d long outgrown, but Liz knew the truth: you’re never too old to read and enjoy a good story.

In the same way that tales are handed down and shared over and over again, Liz shared her relentless passion for literature with her students, fellow teachers, and future teachers-to-be. It’s no surprise to see messages written here by some of my childhood teachers, many of whom were taught by Liz and knew (like she did) that the most powerful way to reach children was through stories. In the late 80’s you didn’t have to look very far to find that proof: there was a whole load of us kids at schools in the East End who relentlessly believed that we were only one pen stroke away from becoming the next Judy Blume or Shel Silverstein.

Liz’s reach traveled traveled far and wide, just like any good story is bound to do. This past November I sat next to a complete stranger at a community event here in Maine—a lovely lady from Taiwan whose family had lived for a spell in Newfoundland—only to find we’d both had our lives forever shaped by Liz and her teachings. We shared stories and wondered if that night, across the miles, her ears might be burning as she sat in Newfoundland and we sat in Maine, chatting and smiling our way through memories of her.

To Liz’s family: I’m so sad that the great joy she brought to you has come to a close. I hope the messages shared here add to the stories that you will collect and share about her. She was such an important part of so many people’s story, and I’m so sorry there’s not more time with her. She’s going to be missed, and never, ever forgotten.

My condolences to Elizabeth’s family.
I enjoyed chatting with her at The Works fitness class. Elizabeth was a lovely lady.

It was with sadness we heard of Elizabeth’s passing. A definite testament to her life and vitality is that every time we think of her or speak of her a smile comes to our faces and a warm memory enters our hearts. So many memories of good times, good stories and belly laughter! Genetics of uncle Jim as well as Aunt Leah and her sisters and brothers were strong and leave a wonderful legacy. Personally I also had the privilege of learning much academically from her in the field of education. Her teaching and inherent humor were amazing to experience. Draw strength from those memories and all those happy times together. Sending sympathy, love and hugs from Sid & Erik as well as Jim and Theresa Woolfrey

I was surprised and saddened learn of the sudden passing of Elizabeth. Growing up two doors from each other in Gander, we have been friends since childhood. Later we
shared many happy times as residents of Bowater House.
Later still, Liz did me the honour of being a bridesmaid at our wedding. Jim, Pearl and Percy, Gary and I extend heartfelt sympathy to you and your families during this difficult time.

Pearl, Hugh and Family,
I was very shocked and saddened to read of Elizabeth’s passing. Over the years I’ve collected many fond memories of times spent with Elizabeth: trips to Children Literature conferences in Ohio, literacy meetings at her home with fellow teachers, visits with her in Harlow, Eng.,and many fun, social get-togethers at each other’s homes.
Elizabeth had a contagious, enthusiastic passion toward Literacy learning through Children’s Literature. It was compelling enough to convince me to change my approach to teaching in the 2nd half of my career. I never regretted that decision.
Since moving out of the province, our contact time lessened, except for the occasional phone call. However,
we always connected on birthdays and Christmas.
Elizabeth will be remembered as a trusty friend, neighbour and mentor.
LeRoy and I send condolences to all the family. May you be sustained by all your memories of “Special Elizabeth.”

‘How does one become a butterfly?’ Pooh asked pensively.
‘You must want to fly so much that you’re willing to give up being a caterpillar, Piglet replied.
‘You mean to die?’asked Pooh. ‘Yes and no,,’ he answered.
‘What looks like You will die, but what’s really You will live on.’
Quote from Winnie the Pooh…….A.A. Milne

Sincere sympathy Pearl on reading of your sisters passing. You could be twins! may your many happy memories carry you through this difficult time.

Ms. Strong was my 4th grade teacher at Vanier Elementary in 1969, when I emigrated from Taiwan speaking only 3 words of English, ‘yes, no, shuddup’ from watching American westerns on Taiwan TV. Culture shock! My fellow students all looked alike to me, AND we wore uniforms! The only way I could tell them apart was by the color of their hair! Caucasian facial features were not yet in my data banks. Ms. Strong had my classmates spend their free class time with me at the back of the room to help me learn to speak and read English, a creative community effort that had me speaking English in one year! Ms. Strong helped me bridge two cultures at an impressionable age with her ingenuity and kindness. I speak English without an accent, which was a surprise to many in Maine in the 70’s and 80’s. She has touched many lives, I am very grateful to have had her as my first teacher…and my best friend, Lynn Butler, who invited me to her home to experience how families are different and the same!

Pearl and family,
We were saddened to read of Elizabeth’s passing. We have fond memories or her love of children’s literature and teaching others about it.. We also enjoyed the enthusiasm she brought to all her new learning experiences. Our sincere condolences.
Jeannette and Roy

To all the Strong family, very sorry to hear of Elizabeth’s death. May you have many joyful memories of her to help you through this sad time..
Barbara Godden

My mother, Joan Penney, was a good friend of Elizabeth. They shared a love of children’s literature. They met at Vanier. They went to conferences together, to Sterling Scotland, and traveled in Europe together. Liz was a very good support for my mother when mom was in her early stages of dementia. When I told mom today of Elizabeth’s passing, mom was very sad. We are so sorry that she died so unexpectedly and didn’t get to spend more summers in Appleton.

Deepest condolences to Elizabeth’s family. Our fitness class will not be the same without her.


My condolences to you, Percy and to all your family. So sorry for your loss.

Sincere condolences to the Strong family on the passing of Elizabeth. I met her at MUN in the mid 1960s. Another done too soon! RIP Elizabeth.

So very sorry to hear of the passing of Liz….please accept my condolences…..RIP…..Denny Mullins.

Elizabeth was a wonderful neighbour for 31 years. She often offered help with gardening, teaching me how to prune and propagate plants. Many of the hostas in my garden came from Elizabeth’s garden. I will miss our chats and her friendly smile. She will certainly be missed in. Our neighbourhood. Sending our deepest sympathy and condolences to her family.

Condolences to Liz’s family on her passing. I was a true d of Liz’s in Bowater House at MUN many years ago and had many good times. I remember whenever she had a care package from home hanging around to get some of her mother’s cake with the boiled condensed milk icing which she shared.

I met “Liz “ when we were both young students living in Bowater House . She brought light into every room she entered and always found a way to make us laugh. Shortly after that experience, I moved to Toronto where I have lived ever since . Unfortunately we lost touch but I was able to follow her life through friends and knew. that she had continued to expand her knowledge and education and also continue to bring joy and inspiration to many , many others!
My sincerest condolences to her family and close friends ! May her life and spirit continue to inspire you and memories of her joyous personality bring happiness to your lives .

I am so sorry to read of Liz’s sudden passing. We shared many wonderful times at Vanier and she was always an excellent source for help when she was at the School Board. She was a dedicated Educator with a zest for life and learning. She was also the source of much mischief and fun! We renewed our friendship at The Aquarena when we met after retirement and I’m happy to say she had not changed. She will be missed. My deepest sympathy to her family.

Sending my sincere condolences to the Strong family on the passing of Liz. I was one of many teachers who were so positively influenced by her love of and in-depth knowledge of children’s literature. She was truly dedicated to improving the literacy skills of children in our province. I hope your wonderful memories of family times together will bring comfort in the days ahead.

Sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. Strong. She was a valued mentor and role model for me early in my teaching career.; always pleasant, always encouraging and always very wise. She showed me the power of sharing beautiful picture books not only with children, but with the adults in their lives as well. Undoubtedly, she has positively influenced generations of young learners .

I am shocked and very saddened to hear of the passing of Liz. I met her at university when we were in a number of the same classes. What a happy spirit she exemplified! I have seen her only a few times since then, but her personality was just as I remembered it, always ready to make you laugh. After she retired she talked so lovingly about her place on Gander River. Len joins me in this expression of sympathy as you mourn the loss of this ‘one of a kind’ loved one. May memories of her bring a smile to your face even when the dawn still seems dark.

I am shocked to see this announcement of Elizabeth’s passing. We met many years ago at university when we lived in Bowater House. Then recently we have renewed our friendship at Exercise class at the Works. She was interesting, funny and friendly. My condolences to the family.

I am so sorry to learn of Liz’s passing! I first met her at Vanier School when she was just beginning her career as an educator. We were both part of a group of teachers who cross country skied every weekend we could. Many fond memories! My condolences to her family.

Sincere condolences to Elizabeth’s family. Elizabeth was smart, witty and so full of life. She made our fitness class so much fun and she will be missed. Rest in peace.

I am saddened to read of Liz`s sudden passing.. She was so vibrant and full of life. Her passion for teaching was contagious and certainly impacted my teaching career. She would often join Linda Harnett(my colleague) and me as we planned our weekly activities around children`s literature.. She would often visit later in the week just to see how the children reacted to the activity. Liz was well respected among her colleagues here and afar. I witnessed this respect as I travelled with her to conferences in the USA. She was one of a kind., gone too soon. My condolences to all her family and friends.

To Elizabeth’s family, I am truly saddened to hear of her passing. I met Elizabeth at exercise class and we had such fun! She was a joy to know and we will miss her greatly! May your precious memories help you all get through this difficult time.

Christine Burke

I am so sorry to learn of Liz’s passing. Although many years have passed since our last interaction, I recall with gratitude her dedication to the teaching profession, particularly, in my experience, to teachers of the Avalon Consolidated School Board, as it was then known. Liz was instrumental in helping me and my Kindergarten colleague at Morris Academy, Linda Jamieson, with the implementation of “learning centres”, at the time a novel approach to teaching and learning. We and many others were the beneficiaries of Liz’s enthusiasm for providing enriching learning opportunities for students, especially in their early years. I was not aware of her prowess in ordinary and practical aspects of life but I am not surprised!!! She was a unique individual who gave unselfishly for the betterment of others. I send sincere condolences to all who knew and loved her. She will not be forgotten. Linda Harnett

I am deeply saddened to hear of Dr. Strong’s passing. It was a privilege to be a colleague of Elizabeth’s. Her commitment to teaching and to her students was exemplary.

My sincere condolences to Dr. Strong’s family.