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Marjorie L. Linhardt, beloved English teacher Feb. 22, 1945 -- June 3, 2012

Marjorie L. Linhardt, who taught English for 32 years in three Buffalo high schools -- including her beloved Kensington High School -- loved taking her classes to Stratford, Ont., to see Shakespearean plays.

But she also was the first to sign up for field trips to amusement parks, where she loved riding the roller coaster with students.

Miss Linhardt, who died Sunday at age 67 in her Amherst home after a long battle with cancer, could be prim and proper. She rarely -- if ever -- raised her voice. But few teachers related to high school students the way she did.

That's why she earned many honors in her teaching career, including being named the Buffalo High School Teacher of the Year in 1983.

"She liked kids, and they realized that," said Kathleen Kreis, a longtime friend and former colleague. "She loved to talk to them about literature, but she talked to them, with equal fervor, about hockey, baseball and football. She could relate to the kids on a lot of different levels."

Miss Linhardt loved school, as both a student and teacher. She began teaching at Kensington just four years after she graduated from the school, as class valedictorian.

A Buffalo native, she graduated from Kensington in 1962, before earning her bachelor's degree in English from the University at Buffalo in 1966, graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She later earned a master's degree, summa cum laude, from Buffalo State College in 1971.

Miss Linhardt started her career at Kensington in 1966, teaching English there for 13 years. Serving as adviser to many student clubs, ranging from It's Academic to the hockey team and its boosters, she held court in Room 164, where students found a willing and sympathetic ear, no matter what the issue.

In the early 1970s, Kensington was at the forefront of disturbances in city schools, including student protests and bomb threats. And yet, the students never gave her any trouble.

"I think that they knew she cared about them, that she held them dear, so they didn't mess with her," Kreis said.

Miss Linhardt was chairwoman of the English department at three schools, teaching for seven years at Lafayette High School and 12 years at Hutch-Tech, before she retired in 2000. She also served as an assistant principal at Kenmore West High School in 1987-88.

Among her many honors, she especially prized her Kensington High School Distinguished Alumna Award, given to her in 2003, the year the school closed.

She also was a Buffalo Sabres fanatic, adored her poodles, Rudy and Georgie, and was very active in Faith United Church of Christ, where she served as president of the Consistory.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in Faith United Church of Christ, 1300 Maple Road, Amherst, after prayers at 10:15 in Amigone Funeral Home, 5200 Sheridan Drive, Amherst.

-- Gene Warner