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Hilda Jackman

6 janvier 193422 mai 2021

Hilda Louise Jackman, a pioneer in children’s television and noted early childhood educator, died on May 22nd in Nashville, Tennessee. She was eighty-seven years old.

She was born Hilda Cohen on January 6, 1934 in Mineral Wells, Texas, to Sylvia and Saul Cohen, owners of a prestigious ladies clothing store. She was the oldest of three siblings: James Cohen (deceased) and Richard Cohen.

Hilda’s influential career started in 1955 as creator, producer, writer, and performer of Mickey and Amanda (specifically playing Amanda Possum), a highly successful children’s TV show at KTVT in Fort Worth, Texas, with her professional partner Dick Clayton. The show ran until 1961. She later went on to produce two other children’s TV shows: Peanut Butter and Jam Session in 1967 at KERA and, from 1973–1975, Gunnysack at WFAA, both in Dallas.

But Hilda’s true professional passions were for children and childhood education. From 1968–1976, she was a teacher and then Director of the Early Childhood Department at the Jewish Community Center in Dallas. She was also very involved in the preschool program at Temple Shalom, Dallas, her beloved synagogue and community for many years. In 1977 Hilda moved into higher education as a child development instructor at Dallas’s Eastfield College. Then, in 1978, she created the child development program and parent-child study center at the newly built Brookhaven College in Dallas. Heading this successful program for 16 years until her retirement in 1994, Hilda became an influential and groundbreaking professor and director in her field, positively changing the lives of countless children and students. Then, in 1996, she wrote a college textbook, Early Education Curriculum: A Child’s Connection to the World (Cengage Learning, publisher), which quickly became and continues to be a standard text in the field, currently in its 7th edition. She also wrote a creative curriculum activity book in 2005, Sing Me a Song! Tell Me a Story!

Hilda received a Bachelor of Arts in Speech/Drama/Television from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Texas in Denton.

Above all, she found the greatest joy with her late husband and soul mate, Philip Jackman, who she met at Brookhaven College; and with her sons, grandchildren, and family. She is survived by her sons Stephen Linn (and his wife Debbie Linn) and Laurent (Larry) Linn (and his husband Chris Spinelli), her grandchildren Cam and Rachel, brother Richard Cohen, sister-in-law Shirley Cohen, nephew Jared Cohen, and many loving cousins.

Hilda was a joyous force of creativity, talent, and compassion who cared deeply about making the world a better place for children and their families. Never fitting a mold, she broke barriers, transformed like a butterfly, and lived life to its fullest—empowering others to do the same. Hilda was unique in the world and she will be profoundly missed.

The family asks that anyone wishing to honor her memory consider a donation to PJ Library: PJLibrary.org.

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