Wendy Warren
Wendy Warren
Wendy Warren

Obituary of Wendy Kaye Warren

Wendy Kaye Warren


Inimitably kind, gentle, loving, thoughtful, devoted, enthusiastic, interested, intelligent, and driven, Wendy was a great lover of beauty, and reveled in any opportunity to laugh.

On Wednesday, September 7th, 2022, she passed, mercifully quickly and peacefully, at home.


Born on Jan 26th, 1939, in Montreal, to loving parents Mary Elizabeth (Thomson) and John Dryden Johnston, Wendy enjoyed an idyllic childhood in Rosemère, Quebec, and the warmth of the Florida sun.  She was Head Girl at King’s Hall in Compton, Quebec, and graduated with a BA from Queen’s University, Kingston.


With her teacher’s certificate from Montreal, Wendy while there keenly fostered in adolescents a love of drama and the French language.  Once in Kingston, she attained both her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Education from Queen’s.


Author and co-author of 39 works in French and English, in 68 publications, including 186 library holdings, Wendy worked devotedly for over 30 years as both a researcher and as the research coordinator for the Social Program Evaluation Group (SPEG) at Queen’s Faculty of Education.


Significantly, she had the skills to develop and write the research framework, but also the willingness, ability, and diplomacy to individually manage communication (in both  English and French) between SPEG, project stakeholders, funders, school principals and the research subjects.


The research in education and health that Wendy was instrumental to the success of, along with Dr. Alan King, focused on how to engage the “student at risk”.  Numerous studies that she helped lead on youth health knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours resulted in reports such as The Adolescent Experience, The Good School, Improving Student Retention in Ontario Secondary Schools, Teachers in Canada, and the groundbreaking studies Canada Youth and Aids and Street Youth and AIDS.  The World Health Organization studies, still completed every four years, on Health Behaviour of School-Aged Children and Young Women at Risk have had far-reaching and long-lasting impact on the education policies and programs of Canadian and WHO funding agencies, and on Canada’s youth.


Wendy played a major role, both in bringing together multidisciplinary groups from across Queen’s, and in working with them on several major research initiatives: Better Beginnings, Better Futures, the Development and Evaluation of an AIDS/Sexuality Program for Grade 9 Students, and the Canadian Heritage Learning Resources Project.


Also, Wendy was unparalleled in her elegance and grace, her generosity, caring, listening, warmth, graciousness and goodness.  She was practical, modest, cultured, worldly and exquisitely radiant.  


She adored her family (and pets) above all else.  Hers is a great loss to loved ones, and to her many, many cherished friends.


Pre-deceased by her husband, Kenneth G. Warren and brother, John Peter Johnston, she is survived by her daughter, Billie Samara Warren, her granddaughter, Seraphim Willa Warren, her sisters, Betsy and Billie Johnston and Maureen Johnston-Evans, and by many other loving family members.  She was our cohesive force.

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