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Carol J. Woodard, children’s book author

Jan. 19, 1929 – Sept. 9, 2015

Carol J. Woodard, of East Aurora, a children’s book author and retired professor emeritus at SUNY Buffalo State, died Sept. 9 in Absolut Care of Aurora Park, East Aurora. She was 86.

Born Carol Jane Young in Buffalo, she attended Hartwick College on a partial academic scholarship and earned a bachelor’s degree. She earned her master’s degree in education from Syracuse University and her doctorate in education from the University at Buffalo.

Early in her career, she established one of the first nonprofit early childhood learning centers, the Garden Nursery School in Amherst, which is still in operation. She was appointed to teach at Buffalo State, where she was a mentor and teacher for 17 years.

At Buffalo State, she arranged to take a class to the Netherlands to observe early childhood education practices. In retirement, she established Consultants in Early Childhood, a child day care services firm, and consulted at various Buffalo schools and community locations. She also taught at Shanghai University in the Early Childhood Department.

Mrs. Woodard was the author of many children’s books, including a Christmas story entitled “The Very Special Baby,” which remains in print today. She wrote scholarly articles and recently co-authored “Make Believe Play and Story-based Drama in Early Childhood.” She also was the coordinator and author of children’s stories for National Fuel’s “Take Care Project.”

She served on the board of directors of Hartwick College, which granted her an honorary doctorate of humane letters. She created scholarships at Hartwick for students who need additional assistance to complete their degrees.

Mrs. Woodard was a member of the National Huguenot Society, the American Association of University Women and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Elma.

Survivors include her husband of 65 years, Ralph A.; two daughters, Camaron J. Thomas and Carsen J. Loftis; a son, Cooper; and two grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 360 Main St., Elma.

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