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Date of Passing: May 17, 2022

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(nee GRAHAM)

BA, B.Ed, M,Ed., PhD.

After a life well-lived, Beverley, on May 17, 2022, the daughter of the late George Percival and Phyllis Jefferson Graham, passed away at the age of 88 years.
Beverley, wife of her late husband, Berny, is mourned by her three sons, Jeff of Calgary, Graham (Mary), and Robert (Sandra), and her four granddaughters, Christine (Stephen Pratt), Paige (Andrew Rawson), Hailey, Hannah, a great-granddaughter Quinn Rawson, and a brother Robert Graham (Margaret) of Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
She is lovingly remembered by her sisters-in-law, Mary Gerus of Calgary and Donna Ferris of Winnipeg.
Beverley was first of all a teacher. After grade 12 she graduated from the Provincial Normal School in 1951 and, with a love for adventure, taught Grade One at Bisset, Manitoba, home of the San Antonio Gold Mines, then an isolated community. There she met Berny Zakaluk, the junior high teacher, whom she married in 1955.
As well as a being a homemaker, Beverley was a lifelong learner. While being a wife and mother, she obtained her baccalaureate in both arts and education, her master's in education, those at the University of Manitoba, and her doctorate from the University of Minnesota. As well as being a school teacher at Woodhaven Elementary School, Beverley was a Reading Clinician at the Child Guidance Clinic, headquartered in the Winnipeg School Division. Later she became a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, serving for 25 years. She specialized in teaching and learning, and taught courses at all levels, certification year students, post baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral students, serving as both an advisor and mentor to many.
Beverley was a doer, and a non-stop worker. Her colleagues called her the nonstop 'Energizer Bunny'. She received a number of awards, including the Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Literacy, the YMCA-YWCA 2002 Women of Distinction Award for Education, Training and Development, the Dr. and Mrs. H. H. Saunderson Award - for excellence in teaching and later the award for excellence in graduate teaching, the Canada's Literacy Volunteer of the Year Award, the International Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award, the UMFA, Faculty of Education Merit Award, a certificate of merit from the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg, as well as the University of Manitoba Outreach Award. She was honoured as a lifetime member of both the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg and the Reading Clinicians of Greater Winnipeg. Published works included "Readability, It's Past, Present, and Future", and "Family Literacy Programs: the Bookmates Experience". When she retired, Beverley was honoured by being designated as professor emerita.
Throughout her professional career, Beverley believed in the value of involving parents and the community towards fostering literacy, being especially concerned about the role of family in supporting the early literacy skill of preschoolers, most importantly their ability to express themselves through storybook reading. In 1984, she helped found Bookmates Inc., a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire families and communities to grow together through the joy of learning. Beverley, with the support of the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg, launched I Love to Read Day at City Hall on Valentine's Day in 1982. The success of I Love to Read Day is now celebrated every year, over the whole month of February, as I love to Read Month, all these years later.
After cremation, a funeral service will be held at St George's Anglican Church, Cresentwood on Friday, May 27, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Private interment will be at Thompson "In The Park" Cemetery at a later time.
No flowers, please. If friends so desire, contributions to Bookmates, 623 Erin Street, Winnipeg, MB R3G 2W1 in memory of Beverley would be very much appreciated.

But now abideth these three:
faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love,
Corinthians 13:13
Condolences may be sent to

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 21, 2022

Condolences & Memories (7 entries)

  • Bev was a dear relative and friend. She was instrumental in encouraging me when I was getting my Masters degree at U of W. We kept in touch and she always wanted to know how the family was doing. I will miss her very much and our regular chats. Rest in eternal peace Bev. - Posted by: Pat Gibson (Second Cousin) on: Nov 26, 2022

  • I have never thought to ask whether angels could read or not but I am certain Bev is getting down to the matter with great interest. Feeling grateful for the many blessings passed on to the great, the small and the tall by a leader in such a noble profession. To the family, please accept my deepest condolences. - Posted by: Anne Christianson (Student) on: May 28, 2022

  • Dear Family: I am so sorry for your loss of your Mother, Mother-in-Law, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother, Sister and Sister-in- Law. Bev indeed was a very special woman who realized her great potential with the wonderful support of her dear husband Bernard. Dr. Zakaluk was my professor and then my mentor for many years. She transformed our lives as educators in so many ways. She introduced us to the International Reading Association journals, teaching and learning resources and literacy leaders. She made us appreciate the benefits of participating and collaborating in our local reading and special interest councils, provincial association, and international committees. She inspired our cohort of reading clinicians to explore new approaches to diagnostic reading assessment and to make creative connections to Manitoba curriculum in our diagnostic teaching sessions. She made us think about our thinking and teaching approaches in new ways. Bev excited the province with "I Love to Read" activities and new possibilities for increasing parental involvement in early literacy. Bev also did amazing volunteer and professional service to help to transform literacy at many levels in Manitoba. She, as a Manitoba Reading Association member, truly wanted "every Manitoban to be a literate Manitoban". Many of us are forever thankful to Bev for sharing her deep inspiration, academic insights, natural wisdom, as well as her emotional support at critical points in our professional and personal lives. May our memories of Bev's remarkable life and positive influence continue to inspire us for years to come. With sincere gratitude, Carol Hryniuk-Adamov Former Student and Friend - Posted by: Carol Hryniuk-Adamov (Former graduate student and friend) on: May 27, 2022

  • Condolences to Dr. Bev Zakaluk's family from the Council of Reading Clinicians of Manitoba (MCRC). Bev was a past president and life time member of this International Literacy Association affiliated council. She was also a friend, mentor, teacher and colleague of many past and present members. Her leadership has provided guidance for many clinicians , myself included, as she sat on my masters committee and helped me write as a literacy professional. Her legacy of furthering literacy in Manitoba is celebrated by many. Thank-you Bev. - Posted by: Monica Wiebe (Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians) on: May 25, 2022

  • I feel so very blessed to have had Bev as my advisor and mentor. She was smart, spunky, and passionate about her work and was such a wonderful support and influence to so many. She will be sadly missed and fondly remembered. My deepest condolences to her family. - Posted by: Rosana (Montebruno ) on: May 21, 2022

  • Dr. Bev Zakaluk was always a wonderful supporter of literacy in Manitoba. Her legacy is in the wonderful job she did teaching others to support literacy. Her teaching will live on through her students. Thank you, Bev, for being such a wonderful teacher and friend. Your blessings will continue; and, you will be forever in our hearts. - Posted by: Karen Smith (Friend and doctoral graduate student. ) on: May 21, 2022

  • My condolences to the Zakaluk family . I had the opportunity to meet Bev on a number of occasions when I taught with Berny at Weston School. Bev and Berny were such a lovely couple. Bev was such a sweet and soft spoken lady and so knowledgeable . I am saddened to hear of her passing. - Posted by: June Pospishell (friend) on: May 21, 2022

Thomson In the Park Funeral Home and Cemetery

Thomson In the Park Funeral Home and Cemetery

1291 McGillivary Blvd. (Map)
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