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Winifred H. Morrison, Ph.D., much-honored educator

Aug. 31, 1925 – Sept. 18, 2013

Winifred H. Morrison, Ph.D., of Williamsville, a teacher, administrator and educational consultant, died Wednesday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. She was 88.

Born Winifred Haas in Olean, she attended Olean schools. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Buffalo State College, then earned two master’s degrees magna cum laude – in education from Buffalo State and in library science from Geneseo State College.

She completed her doctorate in research and evaluation at the University at Buffalo and pursued additional studies at UCLA and the Harvard University School of Education.

At Park School of Buffalo in the 1970s, Dr. Morrison was head of the Lower School, coordinator of library and media services, and director of the Early Education Division.

In 1979, she became coordinator of the Child Care Advisory Service at UB, then served for three years as director of children’s services for the Erie County Chapter of the New York State Association for Retarded Children.

Dr. Morrison in 1983 was named president of the chapter’s Heritage Centers, which provide a wide range of services to children and adults with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities, and served in that position until she retired in 1995.

She was an adjunct professor at UB from 1964 to 2000 in the Graduate School of Education. She also was a guest lecturer at Hilbert College, Genesee Community College and Empire State College.

Dr. Morrison was involved in many books and other publications in the 1970s, writing and editing as a committee member, including the well-known “You Are Your Child’s First Teacher” series. She also was the writer of the child development curriculum at Geneseo State College.

The playground at Delaware Avenue and Delaware Road in Kenmore, which was designed to accommodate children with disabilities, was dedicated to her.

She appeared regularly in radio and television interviews in the 1970s and 1980s, and was the subject of several newspaper feature articles.

She served on boards of directors and committees of many organizations devoted to early childhood development and services for the disabled. She was a member of the Child Development Program Advisory Council at Villa Maria College from 1973 to 2000 and a member of the Youth Services Advisory Council at Medaille College from 1988 to 1996.

The first woman admitted to the Rotary Club of Buffalo, she served on the board of directors and as secretary. She was president of the Zonta Club of Cheektowaga-Lancaster and area director and secretary of Zonta International District 4.

She was honored as Manager of the Year in 1987 by the Center for Women in Management at D’Youville College. Villa Maria College presented her its Outstanding Service Award twice, in 1979 and 1984. The YWCA of Buffalo & Erie County gave her the YWCA Outstanding Achievement Award in 1985. She was listed in “Who’s Who of American Women” and “World’s Who’s Who of Women.”

Her husband, Robert C., a City of Tonawanda police officer, died in 1992.

Survivors include two sons, Robert E. and James; a brother G. Ronald Haas; a sister, Irene Haas; and a close friend, Efner Davis.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Saturday in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 200 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Amherst.

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