June 23, 2018

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Lives lived to the fullest

Prominent Manitobans who died in 2017

One was the ultimate deal maker. Another sang to a generation of Canadians. Others changed the city landscape with a revolving restaurant, helmed one of the highest courts. became a West End icon, curled against the world’s best, led a government ministry, and made Chinatown what it looks like today.

Every year, the Winnipeg Free Press looks for the most prominent people who have died during the calendar year. But we also briefly shine the spotlight on others who died in the year, the ones who may have only had one major accomplishment in their lives or whose fame has dimmed because their achievements were decades ago.

Collectively, these are some of the people who helped shape Winnipeg and Manitoba. These are the people who we will give a final salute to:

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One was the ultimate deal maker. Another sang to a generation of Canadians. Others changed the city landscape with a revolving restaurant, helmed one of the highest courts. became a West End icon, curled against the world’s best, led a government ministry, and made Chinatown what it looks like today.

Every year, the Winnipeg Free Press looks for the most prominent people who have died during the calendar year. But we also briefly shine the spotlight on others who died in the year, the ones who may have only had one major accomplishment in their lives or whose fame has dimmed because their achievements were decades ago.

Collectively, these are some of the people who helped shape Winnipeg and Manitoba. These are the people who we will give a final salute to:

John Debroni, Bob Toogood, Jim Ballance and Doug Finkbeiner at Riverview Health Centre, Friday, December 23, 2016.


John Debroni, Bob Toogood, Jim Ballance and Doug Finkbeiner at Riverview Health Centre, Friday, December 23, 2016.

Jan. 2 - John Debroni, 86: He was a builder of sports. He was in sports right from his first job as a pinsetter in a bowling alley. He helped found the Winnipeg Hawkeyes Football Club in 1957 and became known in the community as Mr. Hawkeye. He was inducted into the Manitoba Football Hall of Fame as a builder in its first year in 2010, and was named Ukrainian Sportsman of the Year in 1999.

Jan. 4 - Jack Raber, 86: He believed in giving back to the community. He was a builder and developer and Raber Road was named in his honour. He was instrumental in developing Margaret Park Community Centre, the West Kildonan Arena, and the Kildonan Rams football team. He was elected a school trustee in the Seven Oaks School Division and served as chairman for many years.

Jan. 6 - Eugene Rudachek, 91: He was a leader in the pro-life movement. He entered the seminary after serving in the Second World War and was ordained as a Ukrainian Catholic priest at Sts. Volodymyr and Olga Cathedral. He served in a number of parishes in Manitoba and as Chancery Secretary when stationed in Saskatoon. He was known as the father of the pro-life movement in Western Manitoba and was an activist in the movement while a parish priest in Brandon, Souris and Rivers. He was arrested in 1989 for participating in what was called a rescue mission at Winnipeg’s Morgentaler Clinic.

Jan. 8 - Alan Maxwell: He managed peoples' money. He was born in Port Arthur and raised in Winnipeg and graduated with a Business Administration degree from Macalester College in Minnesota. He worked at the Bank of Canada and served as president of the Winnipeg Stock Exchange. He was president of the St. Charles Country Club and helped organized several golf tournaments including the PGA senior tour's stop in 1982.

Jan. 10 - Jack Oatway, 93: He helped grow Stonewall and Rosser. He farmed in the Lilyfield/Rosser area. He was one of the original school trustees elected after the Municipal School District of Rosser was created and was a councillor with the RM of Rosser for 31 years. He was chairman for several terms with the Stonewall and District Health Centre, a founding board member for Rosewood Lodge and Stonewall Place, chairman for the health centre’s fundraising committee, and president of the South Interlake 55 Plus. He was honoured with the humanitarian award from the Fred Douglas Society in 2008 and the 2008 recognition award from the Manitoba Society of Seniors.

Jan. 11 - Jake O'Donnell, 82: He was a voice of city hall. He became a journalist at a newspaper in Thunder Bay and then moved to Winnipeg joining the Winnipeg Free Press. He moved to CBC and reported for a few decades for both radio and television, being called the Dean of the City Hall press gallery by Mayor Bill Norrie and city councillors when he retired in 1992.

Jan. 12 - Doug Brown: He helped the province’s lieutenant-governors. He served in the Second World War, was captured and put into a prisoner of war camp that he tried to escape from three times. He played as quarterback for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1945 and joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in 1947. He was appointed the Aide-de-Camp to Lt.-Gov. Eric Willis and Richard Bowles and was appointed Senior Aide-de-Camp to Lt.-Gov. Jack McKeag, Bud Jobin and Pearl McGonigal.

Jan. 14 - Bob Gould, 75: He served citizens. He worked as a conservation officer, acting director of finance, and in workplace safety and health. He was instrumental in helping the province handle flood and fire emergencies as part of the Emergency Measures Organization. After he retired in 1996, the province called him after the Flood of the Century in 1997, to head the flood-proofing program.

Jan. 19 - Jerry Brasko, 85: He was a builder. He was born in Slovakia and came to Winnipeg in 1951. He began working with metal at Dominion Bronze, Western Tools and Western Iron Works before founding TATRA Ornamental Iron Works with his wife in 1962. He received the Builder of Manitoba Award from the Winnipeg Construction Association and received a certificate of appreciation from the Citizenship Council of Manitoba Immigration for his volunteering, a Distinguished Service Award Co-operation Education Partnership Program from the Transcona-Springfield School Division, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, and a honorary lifetime membership from the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba.

Jan. 20 - Jim Alward, 93: He was a teacher who reached for the top. After returning from the Second World War, he became a teacher. He taught at Cecil Rhodes before going to Kelvin High School for 24 years. He coached the high school’s Reach for the Top team, which won provincial and national championships in 1969-70. He was awarded the 125th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal in recognition of his contributions.

Jan. 24 - Roberta Cramer, 90: She supported Morden. She was a three-time president of the Royal Canadian Legion’s auxiliary and was honoured with the Meritorious Medal from National Command for her service. She led the community’s annual poppy campaign for years. She was three times the chairwoman of the Corn and Apple Queen pageant. For her decades of service, she was honoured with Morden’s Community Service Citizen of the Year award in 2001.

Jan. 26 - Johann Arnason, 95: He supported Gimli. After serving in the Second World War, he helped build the first Gimli Legion and was a founding charter member. He was an insurance salesman and opened Tip Top Foods with his brother. He was the first deputy fire chief for the Gimli Fire Department, was president of the Interlake Shrine Club and a member of the Khartum Komedians, president of the Old Timers Reunion Ball, town councillor and school board trustee and chairman.

Jan. 26 - Leonard Sandeman, 93: He was an artist. He was born in England and trained as a navigator in Rivers during the Second World War. Coming back to Canada to marry the woman he met here, he settled in Winnipeg and became a commercial artist with the T. Eaton Company before starting his own commercial art business. He began painting watercolours in 1948 and joined the Winnipeg Sketch Club and later the Manitoba Society of Artists. He served as president of the WSC in 1961 to 1962 and the MSA in 1964 to 1965. He went on to begin a commercial and fine arts program at Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School in Brandon.

Jan. 28 - Daniel Kennedy, 77: He issued judgments. He was a lawyer and was chairman of the St. Vital School Board. He ran unsuccessfully twice for the provincial Liberal Party in St. Vital in 1971 and 1973 against the NDP’s Jim Walding. He was appointed a provincial court judge in 1978 and was then appointed to the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench in 1984. He also served as president of the Canadian Judicial Association. He presided over numerous criminal trials including being the first judge to order repossession of a convict’s property under proceeds of crime legislation, considering whether a reporter had a right to protect a confidential source, and sentencing a person to six months in jail for failing to pay their parking tickets.

Jan. 29 - Walter Darichuk, 78: He judged longer than most. He went to the University of Manitoba Law School and graduated when he was 21. He was called to the Bar in 1960 and less than three years later, at age 25, he was appointed a provincial court judge — setting a Guinness World Record as the youngest judge in Canada. He was later appointed as a County Court Judge, a Surrogate Court Judge and a local judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Dauphin and the Northern Judicial District. In 1984, he was appointed a Court of Queen’s Bench Justice for Manitoba and in 1997 a Deputy Judge of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories and Yukon Territories. When he retired at 75, he was the only judge to have presided in all courts of Manitoba and he was the longest serving judge in Canada and the Commonwealth. He also served as the provincial director of the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities and as president of the Provincial Judges’ Association of Manitoba.

Feb. 3 - Jocelyn Samson, 77: She was a trailblazing investment banker. She earned her CFA designation while working at Richardsons when few women were in the field. She worked at the company’s Montreal offices and, when she retired after 25 years, she served as chairwoman of the Manitoba Securities Commission.

Feb. 5 - Linda Lee, 69: She helped people and companies communicate. She first worked as a reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press on the Women’s Page before becoming a communications and media relations professional. She volunteered with the YWCA and sat on the committee that led to Osborne House opening to help victims of domestic abuse. She was instrumental in organizing the Winnipeg chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.

Ken Kronson


Ken Kronson

Feb. 6 - Ken Kronson, 76: He hosted fundraising dinners with famous athletes. He graduated with a pharmacy degree in 1962 and began working with his father who, with other pharmacists and businessmen, started the Metro Drugs franchise. After the chain was sold in 1981, he founded Midwest Geriatrics and later Medi-Mart Pharmacy on Pembina Highway. His love of sports made him heavily involved with the Winnipeg South Monarchs and he served as president and lifetime director of the Winnipeg South Blues. With his close friend Ernie Nairn, he founded the YMHA Sportsman’s Dinner in 1972, which has raised a total of more than $7 million and brought in sports figures from every major sport.

Feb. 7 - J. Frank Johnson, 87: He was committed to public service. He served as an alderman and deputy mayor in St. James from 1964 to 1972, and a Progressive Conservative MLA from 1969 to 1988. During the Sterling Lyon government, he served as Minister responsible for the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation and Minister of Economic Development and Tourism. To honour his contributions, Mandeville Park on Ness Avenue was renamed in his honour in 2011.

Feb. 7 - Anne Bowden, 76: She was an active volunteer. Before retiring to Guelph, she spent 24 years living in Winnipeg. While here she served as the first executive director of the Manitoba branch of the Canadian Bar Association, executive director of the Manitoba Historical Society, and director of the U of W’s alumni relations. She volunteered on the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra’s board, was appointed by the province to be a member of the Manitoba Heritage Council, by the City of Winnipeg to a committee to study urban safety issues, and was lauded by the premier for her role in protecting waterways in southern Manitoba.

Feb. 10 - Max Reich: He sold real estate. When he was 13 his mother, a widow, not only ran the family grocery but began buying and renting out houses. Later, when he began working at CN Rail, House of Stein and Advance Electronics, he would sell real estate on the side. After marrying, the couple started Astroid Management, which became one of the city's largest real estate management companies.

Feb. 11 - Fran Thompson, 89: She helped her community. She got a home nursing certificate and owned a successful accounting business. She was elected reeve of the LGD of Alexander for 1977 to 1980 and again in 1983 to 1986.

George Schreyer

George Schreyer

Feb. 17 - George Schreyer, 96: He helped students’ education. He grew up on the family farm near Beausejour, not only working on the farm, but also operating a pulp and paper bush camp in the late 1930s and into the 1940s. He later bought farm land in the RM of St. Andrews and it grew to become more than 4,000 acres. In 1955, he began selling Massey Harris Equipment and he became a dealer the next year with his brother as Schreyer Brothers Farm Equipment. He was first elected to what would become the Lord Selkirk School Division and, with more than 53 years of service, would become the longest standing member of an elected assembly. For his contributions he was honoured with the silver, gold and diamond Queen’s Jubilee Medals.

Feb. 19 - Charlotte Oleson, 84: She was a librarian turned politician. She grew up on a farm in the Clanwilliam district and attended Normal School in Winnipeg. She taught at Glenboro School until becoming a stay-at-home mother. Returning to the work force, she worked as the town’s librarian and then at Glenboro Collegiate. She was elected a town councillor in 1977 and then a MLA in 1981. She was Minister of Community Services and Employment Services, with the responsibility for the Status of Women, and then, when the ministries were reorganized, she became Minister of Family Services. She served until 1990. She was a board member of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and the Manitoba Motor Transport Board. She was honoured with a life membership in the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba in 2000 and awarded the Canada 125 medal in 1992.

Donna Krowiak


Donna Krowiak

Feb. 20 - Donna Krowiak, 70: She was a business booster of the North End. She was born in Poland and came to Canada with her parents in 1964. She worked for several florists before opening Floral Sensations on McPhillips Street in 1992. She was named Women Entrepreneur of the Year by the Women Business Owners of Manitoba in 1995 and she won a contest sponsored by the North End Community Renewal Corp with her motto 'The sun will shine on the North End again'. She also was involved with 4-H and served several roles including president of the Provincial Manitoba 4-H Council.

Feb. 20 - Peter Scouras, 33: He slung burgers. He unexpectedly became manager of the iconic Red Top Drive-Inn when his father suddenly passed away in 2007. He continued the legacy of his father by making every customer feel special and at the time of his passing he was co-owner. He loved rugby and was president of the University of Manitoba Wombats Rugby Club.

Feb. 22 - Del Crewson, 74: He calculated numbers and volunteered. He was apprenticing as a butcher when he went back to school and later became a chartered accountant. He worked at the Hudson's Bay Company as assistant treasurer, but when it moved all its senior executives to Toronto, he joined Dunwoody and Company, becoming its managing partner for the Winnipeg office. The office became part of Deloitte and Touche and he became a national director. He served on numerous boards including St. John's-Ravenscourt School, Manitoba Museum, and the Forks Development Corporation, as well as serving as president of the Manitoba Institute of Chartered Accountants. He was honoured as Outstanding Jaycee of the Year by the Winnipeg Jaycees in 1968.

Guy Hobman


Guy Hobman

Feb. 25 - Guy Hobman: He built homes. He worked as a chartered accountant and then was hired by Metropolitan Homes. During his more than 50 years in the property and real estate business, he founded Heritage Homes and then Greentree Homes, which build single family homes, condos, and commercial properties, as well as developing land. He was a Manitoba Home Builders’ Association director for many years, served as president in both 1981 and 1997, and was the originator of the annual Parade of Homes. He also served on the board of the Winnipeg Housing and Rehabilitation Corp.

Feb. 26 - Derek Smith, 70: He was born and raised in Montreal and brought his family to Winnipeg to work for Inter-City Gas. He went on to be general manager and regional director of the Royal Canadian Mint, president and CEO of the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission, and executive director of Arts Stabilization Manitoba. He volunteered on numerous boards including the St. Boniface Research Centre, St. Amant Centre and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Feb. 26 - Carl Mattson, 89: He was a great pitcher. He played for the Norwood Juniors, the Elmwood Giants and then many years of senior baseball. He was a strong right-handed pitcher with an outstanding fastball and control. He was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame. He also won an Intermediate C hockey championship with Warren in 1956.

Feb. 28 - Glen Harrison, 87: His life was music. He graduated from the University of Manitoba and worked as a music teacher before becoming director of music education for the Seven Oaks School Division, music co-ordinator for the Winnipeg School Division, and supervisor of school broadcasts for the Department of Education. He was the founder and artistic director of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. He was also artistic co-ordinator and music director at Rainbow Stage, conductor and music director of productions at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and University of Manitoba, and director of music at Westminster United Church for 52 years.

Martin Bergen


Martin Bergen

March 7 - Martin Bergen, 89: He was a developer. He was born in Ukraine and, after the family fled to Germany in fear of the advancing Russian army, was conscripted by the German army as a medic when he was 15. He spent three years in a French prisoner of war camp. He later joined his family in Canada in 1953. He and his wife founded Viceroy Painting and Decorating in the basement of their home until he began building apartments. He partnered with Jake Letkemann to incorporate Marlborough Development for the construction side and with his wife he founded Edison Properties to manage the properties. His most well-known project was Fort Garry Place with the revolving restaurant on top.

March 7 - Walter Romaniw, 73: He was a proud Ukrainian-Canadian. He was born in Ukraine and came to Canada with his family when he was two. He went to the University of Manitoba and became a lawyer in 1970, being honoured by being appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1993. He served on the board of directors of the Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble from 1972 to 1984 and was instrumental in the group dancing internationally, including in Italy where they danced and met privately with Pope John Paul II. He served as president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress from 1992 to 1998 and for his contributions to the Ukrainian community he was awarded the Shevchenko Medal in 2004, the UCC’s highest honour.

March 7 - Shirley Free, 61: She helped people remember history. She worked as a project officer with the federal Human Resources Development Canada. In that position she helped support numerous cultural, ecological, historical and archeological projects in the community, but her largest achievement was the River Road Heritage Parkway in St. Andrews, which included the renovation of Captain Kennedy House and Tea Room.

March 8 - Edgar Arnold, 70: He was a bureaucrat who became a politician. He was employed first by the federal Canada Land Inventory Project before helping develop numerous subdivisions in eastern Manitoba. He was appointed the Selkirk and District Planning Area Board’s manager in 1981 before becoming the Chief Administrative Officer in the RM of West St. Paul. He retired and was voted a councillor in the RM of Alexander in 2006 and reeve in 2010.

March 8 - Teofil Zabawski, 100: He fought for Poland and never forgot. He was born in Poland, but after the Second World War broke out, he was deported to the Soviet Union and put into its army. After injuring his hand, he was sent to a labour camp until being released in 1941, and later joined the Polish Navy for the duration of the war. After coming to Winnipeg in 1958, he joined the Royal Canadian Legion and was one of the founding members of Polish Canadian Branch 246. He served as the branch’s president in 1975 and vice-president in 1985. He was honoured with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

March 9 - Gudbjorg (Dorothy) Johnson, 88:  She was a musical mate. She was born in Finns and growing up developed a great love for music from listening to her brothers play the violin. They all began playing together, with her at the piano, in the 1940s as Johnny and his Musical Mates. They entertained throughout the Interlake for the next six decades.

Harvey Smith


Harvey Smith

March 12 - Harvey Smith, 80: He was a community activist. He was born in Winnipeg and raised in Vancouver. He returned to Manitoba to teach and served as librarian at Tec Voc High School. He was first elected to city council in 1980 and represented Sargent Park until being elected NDP MLA for the Ellice constituency in 1986. After losing his seat, he was re-elected to city council in 1998 and served four consecutive terms for the Daniel McIntyre ward until 2014. He fought for inner-city issues and was instrumental in the creation of the West End Business Improvement Zone and successfully campaigned to save the Sherbrook Pool.

March 14 - Andrew Duncan: His accounting skills saved the symphony. He was born in Scotland and served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He met his wife while stationed at the air training base in Carberry. He was an accountant and served as treasurer of the City of St. James, director of finance for the newly formed Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg, and budget director of the City of Winnipeg. He was one of two Canadians who were on the board of the Municipal Finance Officers Association of North America and he also served on numerous other boards, including the VON, Red River Exhibition Association, and Corps of Commissionaires. He served on the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s interim board of directors and helped with the restructuring needed to save it from bankruptcy and dissolution in 2003.

March 17 - Orville Mayor: He was a bowler from Dauphin. He played in the ABC Bowling Championships in 1958 and 1960, won the Dauphin City singles championship 20 years in a row, and represented Manitoba at the Canadian Championships in 1975. He was president of the Mixed Tenpin League for 10 years and was inducted into the Bowling Hall of Fame of Manitoba.

March 18 - Darren Sawchuk, 51: He was a lawyer who loved music. He worked as a criminal defence counsel for more than 25 years, appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, and served as president of the Criminal Defence Lawyer’s Association of Manitoba. He sang and played guitar with his Tragically Hip cover band 59 Divide and opened the Vinyl Revival store to sell records and offer music lessons in 2015.

Dr. Joseph Du,


Dr. Joseph Du,

March 19 - Joseph Du: He helped build Chinatown. He was born the youngest of 11 children in Vietnam during the Japanese occupation. At 17, he fled North Vietnam to study medicine in Taiwan. He later studied at the University of Washington to become a specialist in neonatology and came to Winnipeg to become a pediatrician at the Winnipeg Clinic. He was president of the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural Centre for more than 30 years, spearheaded the visit of two panda bears in 1989, and was instrumental in the building of Chinatown’s Dynasty and Mandarin Buildings, as well as the Chinese Gate and Garden and two residential buildings. He has received the Order of Manitoba, the Order of the Buffalo Hunt and the Order of Canada. In 2013, the city honoured him with the honorary naming of a street.

March 20 - Jim Jamieson, 77: He was a biochemist who helped mothers have babies. He earned his PhD in biochemistry at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He was hired as the only biochemist in the U of M’s chemistry department and created with colleagues its Honours Biochemistry program. He helped design the first Plasma Fractionation Lab for Drs. Chown and Bowman to produce WinRho, an improved form of gamma globulin, from the blood of Rh-negative donors so Rh-positive babies could be born to Rh-negative mothers. He served the rest of his life on the board of the Rh Foundation, which is funded for university research from funds from the WinRho program. He also served as dean of science.

March 22 - Claude Wilson, 85: He helped ducks. He graduated with a commerce degree from the U of M and attended Harvard Business School before becoming the third generation to join Wilson Furniture. He had a passion for the outdoors, hunting and conservation and volunteered with Ducks Unlimited for almost four decades. He was president of DU’s board in 1992 to 1993 and was instrumental in the creation of the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre.

March 23 - William Solypa 86: He taught math. He was a high school math teacher and department head at St. John’s High School before going on to become principal at Somerset, Shaughnessy Park and Sisler High School. He then became superintendent of elementary schools in the Winnipeg School Division. He was chairman of the provincial committee responsible for setting and the marking of Grade 12 math exams, served on the provincial committee that introduced the metric system to the province, and was on provincial curriculum committees relating to math education. He was co-author of Metric Activities for Grades 4 to 6 and the math series New Dimensions in Mathematics for Grades K to 6, which is used across the country.

March 24 - Terry Lewis, 64: He helped youth fly. He loved aviation from the time he was a small child to spending 35 years as an air traffic controller while also flying 40 years as a pilot. He volunteered with the Air Cadet League of Manitoba where he rose to become provincial chairman. He received the Douglas Inglis Award for distinguished service and the National volunteer Service Medal.

March 26 - Mendel Schnitzer, 68: He had kidney disease and helped others with it. He lived for 30 years with kidney disease and was a longtime recipient of hemodialysis. He was the first in Manitoba to have overnight kidney dialysis at home and he convinced the provincial government to cover the additional costs of increased water and electricity in residences. He was president of the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Manitoba branch in 2005. He also was a senior negotiator and policy analyst with Indian and Northern Affairs and helped band councils get control of schools across Manitoba.

March 29 - Susan MacDonald, 62: She worked to help people in other languages. She served as president of the Wolseley Residents' Association and in her community with settlement agencies serving immigrants and refugees. She produced and directed two health information videos: Health Care in Manitoba in several languages and Health Care in Canada in 22 languages.

April 2 - Eugene Cherwick, 80: He was a pillar of his church and Ukrainian community. He was active with the Knights of Columbus. His roles included serving as Grand Knight and Canadian representative to the Supreme Board of Directors. He served on the board of St. Paul’s College at the U of M, the Catholic Foundation of Manitoba, St. Vladimir’s College, where he headed a campaign to expand the college buildings, and was president of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute Foundation. For his services to the church, Pope John Paul II named him a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory. He also was executive director of the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre and president of the Ukrainian Mutual Benefit Association of St. Nicholas.

April 4 - Norm Larsen, 81: He was a lawyer. He spent three decades working in law including private practice at Zuken, Penner and Larsen and then as the first staff lawyer at Legal Aid Manitoba where he rose to be executive director. He went on to finish his career by writing provincial legislation. He wrote the book Notable Trials From Manitoba’s Legal History and the follow-up Notable People from Manitoba’s Legal History.

April 5 - Archie Speers, 93: He volunteered. After graduating with a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering, he founded Speers Petrochemicals Ltd., which specialized in coverings for winter construction and reservoir liners. He volunteered for several organizations in the community and was chairman of the Children’s Aid Society of Winnipeg, a founding member of the United Way of Winnipeg, and chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Saint Stephens Broadway United Church, and the March of Dimes for the Society of Manitobans with Disabilities. He was a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg and, with his wife, he helped set up the Rotary Career Symposium.

April 6 - Herbert Embuldeniya, 85: He fought for boxing. He was a teacher and principal at northern First Nations before becoming assistant superintendent of education with the federal Department of Indian Affairs. He had a passion for amateur boxing and served as a coach and official. He was a referee, judge and technical delegate at numerous international competitions including World Cups, World Championships and Olympic Games. He served as vice-president of the Manitoba Amateur Boxing Association in 1968, president of the Canadian Boxing Association in 1986, executive committee member of the International Boxing Association from 1990 to 2002, and chairman of the Manitoba Boxing Commission. He was honoured with the key to the City of Manila in 1990, inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

April 7 - Walter Jennings, 99: He volunteered for decades. He served in the Second World War and spent most of his working years with Winnipeg Transit. He was a school trustee in the St. Vital area, but it was as a volunteer with the Glenlee Community Club where he made his biggest impact. He volunteered for more than 45 years and, with several other volunteers, built the club's main hall and later the club's Skate House, which, in his honour, was renamed the Walter Jennings Sports Facility. He received the Premier's Volunteer Service Award in 1997.

April 7 - Peter Maendel, 93: Hewas the first Hutterite to graduate as a teacher in Manitoba. He was born at a Hutterite Colony near Elie and, after getting married, settled at the newly founded New Rosedale Colony. He served as a conscientious objector during the Second World War by working at a shipyard in what is now Thunder Bay before returning to the colony after the war. He went to evening classes offered by the Mennonite teacher at the colony and was the first Hutterite to be nominated as a teacher in the province and the first to later graduate from Manitoba Teacher’s College. He went on to teach at the two-room Fairholme Elementary School for 25 years.

April 10 - Charles Horvath, 81: He helped lay eggs and assisted farmers around the world. After his dad died, he began building chicken barns and soon had one of the province’s largest egg producing operations with more than 40,000 laying hens. He joined the Manitoba Egg Board and then became chairman of the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency where he travelled around the world. After selling the farm, he worked at Landmark Agro and sold fertilizer and then the Business Development Bank of Canada.

Bill Sutherland (middle)


Bill Sutherland (middle)

April 10 - Bill Sutherland, 82: He played junior hockey with the St. Boniface Canadiens and moved up into the pro ranks where, by 1963, he played for the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL playoffs. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers when the NHL expanded to 12 teams in 1967 and scored the team’s first goal. He went on to play with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues before playing with the Winnipeg Jets during the first two seasons of the World Hockey Association. He went on to coach the Jets to the Avco Cup in 1979 and then when they became part of the NHL, before ending his coaching career in 1989.

April 11 - Helga Anderson, 86: She spent her life with music. She learned to play the piano after her father made a deal with nuns at a nearby convent to trade lessons for employment. She went on to complete her teacher’s diploma in voice and piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music and became a music teacher and consultant with the Winnipeg School Division. She adjudicated numerous music festivals in the city and province. She was the leader of the Winnipeg Boy’s Choir from 1966 to 1974, and from the choir formed the Bass Clef Chorus and the Better Half Singers, which became nationally known through CBC Radio and tours across the country. She formed the Joie de Vivre Singers, a choir for seniors, in 2001, and was chosen to be the Fjallkona for the 110th Icelandic Festival in Gimli in 1999. She was nominated for a YMCA/YWCA Women of Distinction award in 2007.

April 12 - Gerry Goodman, 72: He sold houses and gave to the community. He had a 20-year career in real estate and while working volunteered with numerous service organizations. He contributions include the Kinsmen Reh-Fit Centre, the Kinsmen Discovery Centre, and the handprint wall at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. He was honoured with a community service award from the city, a life membership in the Association of Kinsmen Clubs, and an honorary membership in the Rotary Club of Winnipeg West.

April 15 - Bill Kay, 86: He helped make Winnipeg larger. He was born in Scotland but by 1963 he lived in the City of St. James-Assiniboia where he was elected to city council. He was instrumental in the amalgamation of St. James-Assiniboia into the City of Winnipeg in 1972.

April 15 - Geoff McMullan, 84: He was a bowler. His day job was working as a journeyman sheet metal worker, but his love was sports, especially five-pin bowling. He bowled, coached, and served on the boards of bowling organizations, including kaythe Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers Association. He was a lifetime member of the Manitoba 5 Pin Bowlers Association and awarded the lifetime achievement award from the C5PBA.

April 15 - Robert Ross, 92: He was a neurologist. He graduated with his medical degree from the U of M and did his post-graduate studies in England. He was head of neurology at the HSC and served as a faculty member at the U of M from 1953 to 1999. He founded the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, serving as publisher and editor-in-chief among other roles, and his textbook How to Examine the Nervous System is in its fourth edition and used at medical schools across North America. He served as president of the Canadian Neurological Society and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba. He was honoured with the Manitoba Medical Association’s first Scholastic Award, given an honorary life membership in the Canadian Neurological Society and named to the Order of Canada in 1993.

April 16 - Armand Dureault: He ruled in favour of French language rights. He was called to the bar as a lawyer in 1952 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 1964. He was appointed to the County Court of St. Boniface in 1974, at which time he ruled in favour of Georges Forest that a parking ticket his daughter received was unconstitutional because it was written only in English and not French as well. He was appointed to the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench in 1984 and sat until 1998. He served as president of the Canada Pension Appeal Board from 1993 to 1998.

April 25 - Richard Wilson, 85: He taught judo and karate. He was a London bobby and a professional jazz musician in Britain before selling his clarinet and saxophone to move to Canada. He worked here as a sheriff officer at the Winnipeg Law Courts. He studied judo in Britain and opened the Winnipeg Judo Club in 1961 followed by the Winnipeg School of Judo and Karate in 1963, which was the first to teach karate-do in Manitoba. He formed the Manitoba Karate Association in 1968, the country’s first provincial Karate organization. He retired from martial arts in 1978 with the rank of 4th Dan in both Kodokan Judo and Chito-Kyu Karate-do.

 Ghirmay Yeibio


Ghirmay Yeibio

April 26 - Ghirmay Yeibio, 61: He helped Eritrean refugees. He arrived in Canada in 2001 as a privately sponsored refugee, got a job at a gas station, then a bank, then sponsored 115 Eritreans. He was also an outspoken critic of the Eritrean government and lobbied Canada to shut down the Eritrean Consulate in Canada.

April 29 - Viola Robertson, 90: She was a ballet dancer. She was trained by Betty Farrally and Gweneth Lloyd as a ballet student and then went on to grace the Royal Winnipeg Ballet stage with Arnold Spohr, David Adams and Daphne Korol, among others, before becoming a teacher. After leaving the RWB, she continued to teach with the Royal Dance Conservatory and Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers. She was honoured with a lifetime achievement award by Dance Manitoba in 2014.

May 5 - Dusty Durston, 93: He coached championship hockey teams. He served in the Second World War after playing hockey for the Trail Smoke Eaters. He worked in the Dauphin Power Station before joining what became Manitoba Hydro. But he also coached hockey and in the 1956-57 season he led the Poplar Point Memorial's hockey team to the Intermediate B provincial championship and then defeated the Intermediate A-winning team. He was inducted with the team into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

May 7 - John Stroppa, 91: He was an award-winning football player. He joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1949 as a halfback and, while working days at Imperial Oil and nights and weekends as a football player, won the Dr. Beattie Martin Trophy for rookie of the year in the Western Conference of the CFL. He was on the team that lost the Grey Cup in the famous 1950 Mud Bowl. Imperial Oil transferred him to Edmonton and while there he began officiating in the CFL, working 250 games in 15 years before becoming the league’s supervisor of officials for 11 years. He volunteered extensively in Edmonton and was honoured with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.

May 9 - Lorna Anderson, 85: She walked to fight cancer. She worked as a telephone operator in Eriksdale and then the local post office. She was diagnosed with cancer, fought it and beat it. The second time she was diagnosed, she decided to would also help others. She organized her Walk for Life and, in a month and four days, walked from Thunder Bay to Eriksdale and raised $53,000.

May 11 - Madeleine Bernier, 97:  She blazed a trail for female journalists. She was working as a federal assessor when she joined the Winnipeg Free Press and became a reporter and assistant editor of the Women’s Page. She then worked at the Winnipeg Tribune for 15 years as a journalist and music critic. She was a member of the Winnipeg Press Club and was the first woman to serve on the club’s board.

May 13 - Greg Lowe, 59: He was a jazz musician. He went to music school at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton and never stopped playing. He played with Toronto’s The Lincolns for a few years and since then he had played with Ron Paley’s Big Band and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, composed and produced music for Prairie Theatre Exchange, and played guitar in plays at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. He released nine CDs during his career and produced two videos on Lake of the Woods, the latter earlier this year called The Eastern Shores — A History By Water.

May 21 - Willie Arnason, 83: He created a housing development by digging in a marsh. He taught school for many years in Winnipeg, but after retiring he took on his lifelong dream to create Siglavik near Gimli. He spent 16-hour days digging with a back hoe, but when he was done houses could be built on lots on channels that led to Lake Winnipeg.

May 24 - Kim Monson, 60: She found caves. She was a founding member and a president of the Speleological Society of Manitoba and explored for years in the Grand Rapids and Interlake regions finding caves before editing the book Caves and Karst in Manitoba’s Interlake Region with Dave McRitchie. She was president of Nature Manitoba and the Manitoba chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, she was instrumental in having the Walter Cook Caves Ecological Reserve established, the St. George Ecological Reserve set aside, as well she played an important role in creating Little Limestone Lake Provincial Park.

May 28 - Doug Thomson: He contributed to his community. He wrote several books, including Lottery Inc., which reached number three on McNally Robinson's bestseller list and won the Canada Jaycees' National Effective Speaking competition. He was president and CEO of Southport Aerospace, founding chairman of The Executive Committee, and president of the Winnipeg West Rotary Club and the Fort Garry Progressive Conservative Riding Association. He was also chairman of the board of Mount Royal University and Versatech Industries and a board member of Riverview Health Centre.

May 28 - Donald Collins, 85: He backstopped hockey teams. He played goalie for the Winnipeg Monarchs and Maroons hockey clubs and was named to the MJHL second all-star team in 1952. He was goalie for the Maroons when they went to the Allen Cup three times in the early 1960s, winning the championship in 1964. He later created goal masks.

June 1 - Aaron Berg, 69: He was a human rights expert. He practiced law in Neepawa before joining the province’s justice department where he specialized in human rights and administrative law. He was a counsel for the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and represented it in several high profile cases. They included: Janzen vs. Platy Enterprises, which was one of the country’s leading decisions that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination; and Brooks vs. Canada Safeway, where the Supreme Court found the grocer’s disability plan discriminated against pregnant employees. He also helped draft The Human Rights Code to replace the Human Rights Act. The Aaron Berg Award was created by the Human Rights Commission in his honour.

June 5 - Verne McComas, 93: He helped people living with special needs get financial security. He joined the RCMP in 1943 and served for 27 years before retiring. He worked another 17 years as an administrative assistant to the U of M’s dean of education. He lobbied the RCMP to change its retirement pension so widows and orphans of RCMP members would continue to get the officer’s pension. He volunteered with the Manitoba Schizophrenic Society’s Lifelinks program and while there he was instrumental in working to have the federal government create the Registered Disability Savings Plan for people living with disabilities.

June 5 - Marilyn Hall, 90: She was a producer. She worked on radio for the CBC and wrote the song Is It Possible That I’ve Been Gone So Long, which was recorded by Hildegarde. She wrote for the TV show Love, American Style and was a producer of A Woman Called Golda and Do You Remember Love?, which both won Emmy Awards. She co-authored the cookbook The Celebrity Kosher Cookbook.

June 9 - Allan Stern, 84: He helped save a piece of Winnipeg’s history. With his brothers, he opened the province’s only GMC truck dealership in 1957. He saved from the wrecking ball the Selkirk Dining Room, which was located inside the former CP Rail Royal Alexandra Hotel on Higgins Avenue. He hoped to have it reconstructed in Manitoba, but it was later installed in the Cranbrook Railway Museum in Cranbrook, B.C.

June 15 - Virginia Drialich: She promoted snowmobiling. She and her husband began LAD Enterprises in East Selkirk to sell and service Ski-doos and Can-Am ATVs. She was instrumental in starting snowmobile racing at the Festival on the Red, was a founding member of the MSDRA Racing Association, and was heavily responsible for the World Series of Drag Racing coming to Selkirk in 1991, the first time it was ever out of the United States.

June 15 - Ivan Berkowitz, 80: He gave from the heart. He joined the family business, Monarch Wear, and introduced stylish jeans to teens, a trend that went across the country. After both of his parents died early of heart disease, he became a supporter and volunteer of cardiac causes. While president of the Manitoba Heart Foundation, he led it to raise $1 million in a single year for the first time, he spearheaded the creation of Jump Rope For Heart, was a board member of the St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation, was founder and president for nine years of the Myles Robinson Memorial Heart Fund, and was director of development with the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences for 15 years with Naranjan Dhalla, culminating in Winnipeg being picked to host the International Society for Heart Research World Heart Congress in 2001. He also served as Chief Barker of Variety the Children’s Charity of Manitoba, was the catalyst for the Winnipeg Jets creating its Goals for Kids fundraiser, and was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal and the Big Heart Award for organizational achievement by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba.

June 16 - Reid Schindle, 67: He was a bodybuilder. He won his first Mr. Canada heavyweight title, in the tall category, in 1977 and went on to become the only man to win titles five years in a row. He also competed at both the World Amateur Championships, known as Mr. Universe, placing third in 1978, second in 1980 and fourth in 1981, and the North American Championships,where he finished first in 1978. He opened the first Gold’s Gym in Winnipeg in 1982.

June 16 - Mary Jane McIntyre, 88: She helped veterans. She was in one of the first graduating classes in social work at the U of M and worked at Logan Neighbourhood House, the United Way of Winnipeg and Lions Housing. She volunteered at several organizations including serving as chairwoman and board member of Deer Lodge Centre, a director of the Deer Lodge Foundation, and helping Hospice and Palliative Care Manitoba.

June 19 - Laird Rankin, 76: He helped people remember history. He was hired by the Hudson’s Bay Company to help the company celebrate its 300th anniversary; his chief responsibility was to organize and mange the summer tour of the Nonsuch — a replica of the sailing ship whose voyage led to the founding of the company — that concluded with its permanent home at the Manitoba Museum. He was executive director of the U of M’s alumni association and editor of the Alumni Journal for 19 years before becoming the founding executive director of Canada’s National History Society in 1994. He became publisher of The Beaver magazine in 1997. He authored five books, including The Nonsuch in 1974 and its republished version The Return of the Nonsuch: The Ship that Launched an Empire in 2004. He was honoured by the Winnipeg Arts Council as Chair Emeritus for his years of service on its board, and given the Meritorious Service Cross by Gov.-Gen. Adrienne Clarkson for his work establishing the Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History.

June 20 - Anthony Buccini, 32: He sorted tabs. His mother may have created the Tabs for Wheelchairs program, but behind the scenes he was the main driver. He sorted the vast majority of the tens of thousands of pop can tabs donated annually since it was created in 1998. The fundraiser has donated 18 specialized wheelchairs so far to people living with special needs.

June 21 - Jim Mutcheson, 91: He was patriarch of Morden’s first family of sport. He was a decades-long member of the Royal Canadian Legion in Morden and served as president. The Legion’s national command bestowed its rare Meritorious Service Medal to him for his service. He worked tirelessly coaching and organizing sports in the community, with all six of his sons making their mark in provincial baseball, and he was instrumental in re-constructing the baseball parks in both Morden and Steinbach. He was inducted into both the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame for his efforts and he was honoured as Morden’s Citizen of the Year in 1964.

June 28 - Robert Bockstael, 94: He was a builder. He joined the family business — Bockstael Construction — after serving in the Air Force during the Second World War. He took over the business from his father in the 1950s and while he was there the company constructed the Heather Curling Club, the Fort Garry, O’Keefe and Carling breweries, and the iconic Precious Blood Church in St. Boniface. He served as school trustee and then city councillor from St. Boniface, chairing the civic executive policy committee, before being elected as one of only two federal Liberal MPs in Western Canada in 1978.

Dave Semenko


Dave Semenko

June 29 - Dave Semenko, 59: He was an enforcer. He was born in Winnipeg and played for the Brandon Wheat Kings before being drafted by the World Hockey Association’s Houston Aeros and the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars. He was traded to the WHA’s Edmonton Oilers and played there both in the WHA and later the NHL, serving as Wayne Gretzky’s on-ice bodyguard until being traded in 1986. He retired after the 1987-88 season with 1,175 penalty minutes during his 575-game NHL career.

July 1 - Wally Woo, 82: He was a restaurateur. He came to Canada from China to work at his uncle’s restaurant in Saskatoon called the Marigold. He started a restaurant in North Battleford before his uncle asked him about opening one in Winnipeg. That one, on St. Mary’s Road in 1968, grew to a peak of eight Marigolds across the city, with the four remaining still owned by members of his family.

July 2 - Bruce Rathbone, 70: He promoted concerts. He began after high school managing local bands and writing a pop music column in the Winnipeg Tribune. He was instrumental in executing the Man-Pop Festival in 1970 and for moving headliners Led Zeppelin indoors when it started to rain. By the 1980s, he founded Nite-Out Entertainment with Sam Katz and brought to the city David Bowie, Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones. He and Nite-Out also organized the Sunfest music festival in Gimli.

Ted Homenuik


Ted Homenuik

July 16 - Ted Homenuik, 83: He was a golfer. Born on a farm in Saskatchewan, he won that province’s junior golf championship in 1953. He moved to Manitoba and was on the Willingdon Cup team 13 times between 1957 and 1977, including the 1974 team that won the national team title. He was twice runner-up at the Canadian Amateur championship and won the Manitoba Men’s Amateur Championship three times (1961, 1969, and 1977), and was named Manitoba athlete of the year in 1961. He was named to the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame in 2004, and named Ukrainian Sportsman of the Year for 2005-2006 with two of his brothers Wilf and Stan.

July 17 - Hersh Wolch, 77: He helped the wrongly convicted. He graduated with a law degree from the University of Manitoba in 1965 and began his legal career as a Crown attorney before becoming a defence lawyer. He acted for three prominent Canadians convicted of murders they didn’t commit — David Milgaard, Steven Truscott, and Kyle Unger — and got their convictions overturned.

July 17 - Ralph Bagley, 89: He was a sportswriter. He started his career with the Winnipeg Tribune, retired at the Free Press, but worked for more than 10 other publications in Manitoba in between. He covered golf and curling when he was with the Free Press in the 1950s and, after returning to the paper in 1968, he served as assistant sports editor and golf and curling columnist before retiring in 1993. He served as president of both the Manitoba and Canadian Curling Reporters and of the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. He was inducted into the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame in 2007 and honoured with a life membership with the Manitoba Curling Association.




July 17 - Larry Whitney, 74: He helped save Manitoba from the Flood of the Century. He was born in Saskatchewan and graduating with a degree in civil engineering from the University of Manitoba. He joined the Manitoba government in 1969, working in the water resources branch for most of his career. He was the bureaucrat who headed the province’s fight against the Flood of the Century in 1997, and was honoured for his work by being named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International in 1997, and receiving a Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Excellence in Public Administration in 1998.

July 21 - Kenny Shields, 69: He was the voice of Streetheart. His love for music began in Nokomis, Sask., and he went on to form numerous bands. His most famous, Streetheart, went on to top the Canadian charts with hits like Action and Look in Your Eyes and earn six gold albums, four platinum albums, a double platinum album, a gold single, a Music Express People’s Choice award, and a Juno. He and Streetheart were inducted into the Western Canadian Music Association Hall of Fame in 2003.

July 26 - Victor Martens, 97: He was a leader in the grain industry. He developed his passion while working on farms as a child during the Depression. He was hired by what is now the Canadian Grain Commission. While there he developed the meter used to measure moisture in grain and came up with the idea of the Canadian International Grain Institute. He was CIGI’s first executive director and served as chairman of the Sixth International Cereal and Bread Congress in 1978, the first time it was held in North America. He was honoured with an honorary membership in the American Association of Cereal Chemists.

July 27 - Jim Ogston, 72: He excelled at lacrosse. He began playing lacrosse when he was 15 and two years later he was playing senior box lacrosse for the Transcona Regents. He was chosen for the Manitoba Junior All-Star team in 1963 and later that same year he helped the Transcona field lacrosse team win the Manitoba Field Lacrosse Championship. After his junior career ended, he played for the St. James Saints, helping the team win three consecutive Winnipeg Senior Lacrosse League championships. He was in the top 10 goal scorers every year he played and, after retiring from playing in 1973, he served a year as president of the Manitoba Lacrosse Association. He was inducted into the Manitoba Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a player in 2014.

Corey Gaspur


Corey Gaspur

July 28 - Corey Gaspur, 33: He played video games for a living. He was given his first video game when he was three years old and went on to graduate from the Vancouver Film School where he studied game theory and development. He spent most of his working career at BioWare where he helped create several award-winning games, including Sonic Chronicles, Dragon Age: Origins, and Mass Effect 2 and 3. He was working as the lead designer of the game Anthem at the time of his death.

Aug. 4 - William Reid Waters, 86: He helped burn victims. He was born three months premature and was one of the first babies that young to survive. He went on to enter medicine at McGill University and completed his general surgery and plastic surgery residencies. He helped create a plastic surgery residency program in Winnipeg in 1964 and became chief of plastic surgery. He was one of three Canadian plastic surgeons to be invited to China to share the latest in burn management. He opened the Western Surgery Centre, the province’s first surgery centre for cosmetic and dental surgery, in 1985. He was president of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons in 1981 and chairman of the ethics council of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He was honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Aug. 4 - Don Preston, 91: He sold cars. He was born in Saskatchewan and moved to Winnipeg as a teenager. He served in the Second World War and then worked in the automobile industry. He was a sales manager for Imperial Oil - and owned his own gas station at Portage Avenue and Mount Royal - but then he joined General Motors as a fleet manager. He worked at Birchwood Motors and became president and general manager of National Toyota. He finally opened his own dealership, Woodhaven Toyota, in 1978, before rejoining Birchwood Motor and his lifelong friend Robert Chipman to sell vehicles for 31 years before retiring.

Aug. 5 - Roy Finnen, 85: He helped people with depression. He worked as an accountant, both in the public sector and in private practice, but struggled with depression himself. With his first wife, Gwen, they founded the Society for Depression and Manic-Depression of Manitoba in their home in 1983. For the next four years, the couple ran the society out of their kitchen and held monthly meetings at their church. Since then the organization, now known as the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, has grown to have permanent offices and staff and also became the founding home of the Mood Disorders Society of Canada.

Aug. 5 - Lorraine West, 83: She was an entertainer. She was persuaded by her mother to try her luck with a weekly radio broadcast talent contest at the Beacon Theatre and she won six weeks in a row. She was hired by the Ed Emel Orchestra and sang at the Hotel Fort Garry ballroom before being approached by the CBC. She did a radio show, Let’s Meet Lorraine, and soon was appearing on television, both in Winnipeg, but also in Toronto and other cities. She appeared with her childhood friend, Len Cariou, in a CTV variety program Love in a Cold Climate and performed for prime ministers and premiers.

Aug. 26 - Helen Allison, 89: She helped people die in peace. She survived the bombings at Clydebank, Scotland, during the Second World War and trained as a nurse when she was 17. She came to Canada in 1974 to help co-ordinate the country’s first palliative care unit at St. Boniface Hospital. She was senior author of Social Work Services as a Component of Palliative Care with Terminal Cancer Patients. About a year before she died ,she wrote Stay, Breath with Me: The Gift of Compassionate Medicine, which was named a palliative care book of the month by the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care.

Aug. 29 - Jim Gibbons, 69: He went from selling houses to selling vacations. He was founder of J.J. Gibbons and Company, a real estate company best remembered for the billboards around the city saying ‘Thanks a lot JJ." He sold the business and later moved to British Columbia where he joined Intrawest in 1992. He was an executive member and president of Club Intrawest, the owner of the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resorts, and helped take it from a single resort to the largest developer of destination resorts in the world until it was sold in 2006. He headed the B.C. Special Olympics capital campaign to fund the national games involving more than 40,000 athletes in competitions and training across the country and helped play a role on the bid committee in securing the 2010 Olympics for Vancouver.

Sept. 1 - Mary Jo Purves: She promoted chefs. She was born in Florida in 1937, and skied in water skiing exhibitions at Cypress Gardens. She met a Canadian on the beach there who she married and moved to Canada. She created The Canadian National Cookbook in 1986, which featured chefs from across the country and their favourite recipes, including Madame Benoit. She was later appointed U.S. Consular agent and helped to support Americans in central Canada.

Sept. 2 - Curtis Steiman, 79: He developed commercial property. He used the experience he learned at Lakeview Developments to go on his own and found Winfield Developments in 1970. The company developed more than three million square feet of commercial real estate and at its peak had offices in Winnipeg, Minneapolis, Regina and Kitchener. He served on the boards of the Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg, the YMCA, and Canadian Lutheran World Relief, was president of the International Development Enterprises Canada, and was president of the St. John’s Ravenscourt School’s foundation and chairman of the board. He was honoured with a Community Service Award from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba.

Sept. 3 - Kerry Hawkins, 76: He was a grain industry leader. He spent the majority of his career working with Winnipeg-based Cargill Ltd., working his way up from grain trader in 1964 to president and CEO of the company in 1982 before retiring in 2005. He served as chairman of Winnipeg 2000, the Business Council of Manitoba, and CentrePort Canada Inc., as well as numerous boards including TransCanada Pipelines, Winnipeg Airport Authority, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He was honoured with the Order of Manitoba, the U of W’s Duff Roblin Award, and the U of M’s Distinguished Service Award.

Sept. 3 - Wick Sellers, 86: He helped the province and Canada export to the world. He worked at Great West Life as a chartered life underwriter before becoming involved with Spiroli Corporation and helping it grow to having machinery in 42 countries. He chaired the Manitoba Export Commission and was appointed to the board of the Canada Development Corporation when it was formed in 1971, later serving as chairman. He chaired the executive committee of Dome Petroleum and owned Alphair Corporation before retiring in 2002.

Sept. 8 - Brian Flye, 87: He was an Altone. He initially worked with Manitoba Telephone System to help install the first Trans Canada Microwave System in the early 1950s. But he quit MTS to concentrate on a successful music career, becoming a founding member of the Altones, a Canadian recording quartet. From 1960 to 1965, the Altones appeared every week on CBC’s Red River Jamboree and they recorded an album. After the TV show ended, he joined the CBC’s public relations department and transferred to Edmonton. He retired as the CBC’s director of human resources for the Western provinces in 1994. He also served as president of the Alberta Ballet Company.

Sept. 8 - Brian Gilhuly: He helped the province golf. He took up the game when he was 14 and went on to receive an honorary life membership at the Selkirk Golf and Country Club, an Order of Sport Excellence from the province, and the Distinguished Service Award, Golf Manitoba’s highest award. He began volunteering on committees at the Selkirk golf club in 1958 and was a longtime board member. He also volunteered for the Manitoba Golf Association and Golf Manitoba and sat on the board for several years.

Andre Doumbe


Andre Doumbe

Sept. 12 - Andre Doumbe, 67: He was a pillar of the local African community. Born in Cameroon, he came to Canada and studied business administration. He was purchasing manager at Champs Food Systems before becoming market information officer in Agriculture Canada’s grain and oilseeds division. He was longtime president and executive director of the African Communities of Manitoba Inc., a leader with the Association Sous le Baobab, a board member of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, and a member of the Manitoba Immigration Council.

Sept. 13 - Ron Fewchuk, 75: He had a passion for politics. He was born in Selkirk and raised in Lockport. He owned several businesses, including The Bait House Minnows, Interlake Ice, and a Mac’s Convenience Store. He was elected a councillor in St. Clements and went on to serve as reeve from 1986 to 1989. He was elected Liberal MP for Selkirk-Red River in 1993 and served four years. He was appointed CEO of Manitoba Fisheries and was later elected as chairman for the Selkirk Red River Metis Local.

Sept. 14 - Jim Mitchell, 97: He was a doctor. He followed his father’s footsteps into the medical profession and into obstetrics and gynecology before serving in the Second World War. Returning from the war, he worked in Winnipeg as a practitioner and associate professor at the University of Manitoba. He was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Canadian Medical Association in 2000.

Sept. 14 - Michael Woroby, 95: He supported his Ukrainian culture. He taught school, but after retiring he was ordained as a deacon, serving 22 years at Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Cathedral. He served on the committee for Ukrainian language curriculum with the province’s department of education, was president of the Ukrainian Mutual Benefit Association and the Ukrainian Chapter of Modern Language Association.

Sept. 15 - Ed Keryluk, 88: He played softball. He was born in Meleb and lived in Winnipeg and elsewhere during his 41-year career with Massey-Ferguson. But when he wasn’t working, he was playing softball. He won two Manitoba provincial championships in 1955 and 1956, two league MVP awards in 1951 and 1952, and was the 1959 league batting champion with a .528 batting average. He was inducted into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame in 1996.

Sept. 18 - Pat Wightman, 85: She treated mental disorders. She graduated from the U of M and worked in anesthesia from 1956 until 1978. She then changed careers and studied psychiatry, practising at the Health Sciences Centre until retiring in 2017. She was honoured with awards from the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society and the Mood Disorder Association and was made an honorary member of the Canadian Medical Association in 2014.

Sept. 19 - Les Wardrop, 102: He was a builder. He received his degrees in electrical engineering and civil engineering from the U of M and began working with the City of Winnipeg as a waterworks engineer in 1947. He founded W.L. Wardrop and Associates in 1955, one of the city’s first engineering consultant firms, which later became Wardrop Engineering. The company first offered services in housing subdivision and public works engineering, but later expanded to nuclear engineering, pulp and paper, and solar energy, as well as water projects in West Africa. He served with numerous organizations including as president of the Association of Professional Engineers of Manitoba, the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, and the Canadian Institute of Pollution Control, as well as the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce in 1970. He was honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the Consulting Engineers of Manitoba, had the Les Wardrop Reading Room at the U of M named for him, as well as receiving an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in 2006.

Sept. 22 - Jane Evans, 86: She helped children living with special needs exercise. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Masters in physical education and Ohio State University with a PhD in the area of physical education for exceptional children. She taught at the U of M, authored two textbooks and was instrumental in developing the province’s adapted physical education curriculum for children living with special needs.

Sept. 27 - Ron Hewett, 84: He helped save the lives on the Gimli Glider. In 1983, he was working as an air traffic controller when an Air Canada passenger jet ran out of fuel and was forced to land in Gimli. Known as the Gimli Glider, he helped the pilots figure out the optimal glide speed they needed by calculating the distance the plane had flown using their radar screens.

Sept. 30 - Monte Halparin, 96: He was Monty Hall. He was born, raised and educated in Winnipeg. He wanted to be a doctor, but he was not admitted because there was a secret quota in the numbers of Jewish medical students allowed in at the time. He went on to pursue a career in broadcasting, first working at CKRC as a student. He joined CHUM in Toronto in 1946 where management shortened his name to Hall and misspelled his first name. He was the radio host of Who Am I? in the 1950s before deciding to go to the United States where he began to host game shows. With his partner, he developed Let’s Make a Deal in 1963, and it aired on NBC and then ABC until 1976 when it went into syndication. He continued to host other game shows through the years. Through his philanthropy, including with Variety Club, he helped raise more than $1 billion for charities. He was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2002. He also was inducted into both the Order of Canada and Order of Manitoba and received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Daytime Emmy Awards.

Oct. 4 - Len Andree, 87: He was an entertainer. His day job was at CP Rail, but during other hours his heart was in entertainment. He began as a professional clown and later entertained on stage, radio and television. He created his own agency, Andree Productions Ltd., to book and promote entertainers, but he continued to entertain. He emceed for 39 years at the Red River Exhibition, was involved with Schmockey Night from the beginning for 35 years, was the originator of Breakfast with Santa at The Bay downtown, and was founding member and Chief Barker for Variety Club Tent 58.

Ray Turnbull


Ray Turnbull

Oct. 6 - Ray Turnbull, 78: He was a curling legend. He was an athlete in school and went to the Winnipeg Blue Bomber camp in 1958. He may have run an insurance company, but curling was where his heart was. He played out of the Granite Curling Club and was lead on the Terry Braunstein foursome that won the 1965 Canadian men’s championship and silver at the world championship. He also represented Manitoba at two Canadian senior men’s championships. He ran a series of instructional curling clinics around the world before becoming a veteran voice on TSN’s curling broadcast team. He was inducted into the Manitoba, Canadian and World Curling Hall of Fames.

Oct. 8 - Don Morrison, 90: His father began teaching him to play the bagpipes when he was nine and it became a lifetime passion. He began with the Cameron Cadet Pipe Band and left them when he was 19 as a pipe major. He joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders Reserve when he was 17 and had a lifelong association with its pipe band. He became a Winnipeg police officer in 1947, and joined their pipe band, serving 39 years as an officer and 53 years with the pipe band, 18 years of them as pipe major. He was the solo piper on the Pine to Palm Tour, served as pipe major for the massed bands that played at the Hemisfair in San Antonio, Tex., and the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, and was chosen to play at numerous social functions for Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and prime ministers.

Oct. 11 - Mel Michener, 86: He was an architect. He founded what is now LM Architectural Group with classmate Gerald Libling in 1955. He helped design many buildings in the city, including the Winnipeg Convention Centre and Victoria Hospital, but the last he actively designed was the Canadian Blood Services Centre on William Avenue. He designed a new logo for the Manitoba Teacher’s Society, which is still used. He served as president of the Manitoba Association of Architects in 1967 and vice-president of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. After being appointed to the Manitoba Association of Architects’ Council in 1963, he called out for affordable housing and believed that non-segregated public housing would improve society and raise individuals to greater economic independence. He served as president of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce in 1975 and served on the boards of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Housing Authority, the University of Winnipeg’s Board of Regents, and what is today the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities.

Oct. 14 - Walter Bushuk, 88: He was known around the world for cereal. He was born in Poland and came to Canada with his parents in 1939, only knowing a few words of English. Despite that, he went on to get a Masters degree in biochemistry at the U of M and a PhD in physical chemistry at McGill University. He worked with the Grain Research Laboratory, Ogilvie Flour Mills and the Canadian International Grains Institute. H joined the U of M as a professor in plant sciences and rose to be head of the department. He was a scientist integral in improving wheat quality, published more than 300 scientific and technical articles, was the second Canadian to be president of the American Association of Cereal Chemists and was named to the Order of Canada in 2002.

Oct. 14 - Bill MacKenzie, 76: He bowled. He worked for Canada Packers for three decades, but he bowled for almost two decades longer than that. He picked up his first ball in 1964 at All-Star Lanes and bowled a 279 score his first year. He coached youth leagues from 1969 into the 1990s and served on the Winnipeg Bowling Association for 22 years. He retired from the game in 2011 and was inducted into the Manitoba Bowling Hall of Fame in 2016 under the meritorious service and builder categories for his volunteering and coaching.

Oct. 14 - Jack Rubin, 92: He treated ears, noses and throats. He graduated from the U of M’s medical school and New York University specializing in both otolaryngology and plastic surgery. He was head of the otolaryngology department at the Health Sciences Centre for many years and was president of the Canadian Otolaryngology Society of Canada.

Oct. 17 - Norman Linklater, 64: He was chief of his community. He was born in Nelson House and went to school in Thompson and Winnipeg. Returning to marry his wife, he began driving a bus and later started his own taxi business. Because of the Churchill River Diversion project, he went into politics and served as councillor for a decade before becoming chief of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation from 1990 to 1994. He then served as councillor again for two years before becoming the band’s CEO. With the current chief, he was a co-manager with Future Development looking at exploring a partnership with Manitoba Hydro to build the Wuskwatim Generating Station. He was head of the Wuskwatim Implementation Office until he became sick.

Oct. 18 - Dunc Rousseau, 72: He was an original Winnipeg Jet. He was born in Bissett and left to follow his dream of becoming a professional hockey player. He played in various minor hockey leagues until being signed by the Winnipeg Jets in their first year in the World Hockey Association. He played left wing from 1972 to 1974. He scored 16 goals his first year and helped the team into the AVCO Cup finals.

Oct. 21 - Nora Grenfell, 91: She was a pioneering physiotherapist. She was born in England and trained there before immigrating to Canada with her husband in 1953. She worked for numerous organizations including the Shriners Hospital, Deer Lodge Centre and the Canadian Arthritis Society. She was one of the founders of the University of Manitoba’s School of Medical Rehabilitation in 1953. For her work, she was honoured with a lifetime membership in the Canadian Physiotherapy Association in 1997.

Barry Anderson


Barry Anderson

Oct. 22 - Barry Anderson, 83: He was an organist. He studied piano when he was a child, but was fascinated with the pipe organ at St. John’s Cathedral and asked the organist to teach him how to play it. He went on to become a church organist at age 14 at Gordon King Memorial United Church, studied organ with Herbert Sadler and Hugh Bancroft and later graduated from the U of M and the U of W. He was awarded a Canada Council grant to study in the Netherlands and was featured soloist at the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ Diamond Jubilee convention in 1969. In 1966, he began teaching music at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate and became organist and choir master at Knox United Church, a post he would be at for 42 years. He played organ at U of W convocation services for almost 60 years. He was choir master for the Winnipeg Police Service choir, was the organist for the Winnipeg Jets at the Winnipeg Arena and played with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at its performance at Carnegie Hall under music director Pierro Gamba in 1971.

Oct. 26 - Juliette Cavazzi, 91: She was our pet Juliette. She was born in St. Vital and raised in the North End. She began singing locally at the Ukrainian Hall here before her family moved to Vancouver. She began appearing on CBC radio. By the mid-1950s, she had a huge following and had her own national television show, Juliette. The show lasted for 10 years. She later hosted an afternoon talk show in the 1970s. She was honoured with the Order of Canada and on Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Oct. 26 - Barbara Cook, 87: She helped pioneer professional ballet in Canada. She began dancing at age three. By the 1940s, she was performing in the Volkoff Canadian Ballet where she took part in the historic first Canadian Ballet Festival in Winnipeg in 1948 and the Canadian Festival of Ballet in New York City in 1950. By the 1950s, she danced with the Janet Baldwin Ballet and was in all six Canadian Ballet Festivals. After hanging up her shoes, she was a Royal Academy of Dancing examiner and ran a dance school in Sudbury. She helped begin the dance program at Grant MacEwen College and taught with the Alberta Ballet in Edmonton. She changed careers in the 1970s and by 1984 she was an ordained United Church minister. She served congregations in Hartney, Lauder and Dand and in Winnipeg at St. Andrew’s and Oxford United Churches.

Nov. 1 - Tony Bowden, 84: He fought for Manitoba’s aerospace industry. He was born and raised in the United Kingdom and became a chartered accountant there with Price Waterhouse in 1956. The next year he joined P.S. Ross, now Deloitte and Touche, in Montreal, and then Bristol Aerospace in 1959. He spent the next four decades with the company, working in Winnipeg, Montreal and New York, and rising to being president of Bristol Aerospace Ltd., in Winnipeg. While head of the company, he was critical of the Mulroney government awarding the CF-18 maintenance contract to a Quebec company when his company’s bid was the best bid both financially and technologically.

Mick Baxter


Mick Baxter

Nov. 6 - Mick Baxter, 80: He showed movies. He used to sneak into theatres by walking backwards when he was growing up in England. He spent a decade working on whaling ships before going back to school and getting a degree in pedagogy. He came to Canada and taught school in Gillam before teaching in Winnipeg. He owned the Lyric Theatre in Beausejour for more than 30 years before closing it in 2015.

Nov. 7 - Barry Randell, 71: He supported the community of Gilbert Plains. He lived in Gilbert Plains his entire life. He grew up on the family-century farm there and farmed himself for more than half a century. He was a founding member and chairman of the Gilbert Plains Home and School Association and the Gilbert Plains Fitness Centre. He was also a past board member of both the Gilbert Plains Country Club and the Chatsworth Cemetery. He also served as a director of Manitoba Pool Elevators, the Canola Council, and the Agricultural Hall of Fame of Manitoba.

Nov. 7 - Ike Permut, 92: He helped the Jewish community. He grew up in the North End and served in the Second World War. He was a master mechanic at Stern Trucks and Winnipeg Electric, which became Winnipeg Transit, and then worked in management at Princess Auto and Mandak Metal Processors. He chaired the building committees for both the Bnay Abraham Synagogue and its housing co-op. He was elected chairman of the Chesed Shel Emes, the Jewish community funeral home, in 1978, and served until 1996, its longest serving chairman. He also served on the board of the Gwen Sector Active Living Centre.

Nov. 8 - Lissa Donner, 62: She was passionate about social justice. She was raised in a home that was the only one on the street to have a NDP sign during elections. Her social work practicum became the blueprint for the Manitoba Federation of Labour's Occupational Health Centre, where she was the first executive director. She worked as a reporter for the magazine Healthsharing and ran as the federal NDP candidate for St James in 1984. She authored the report that led to the government creating Winnipeg's Birth Centre and she was executive director of Manitoba Family Services.

Andy Kaye


Andy Kaye

Nov. 10 - Andy Kaye, 75: He was an auctioneer. He graduated from Reisch Auction College in Iowa in 1973 with a dream of owning his own auction house. He bought two side-by-side buildings on Stanley Street and opened Kaye’s Auctions in 2000 where he sold everything from a coffin to DC-3 airplanes to pet pigs to a glass eye.

Nov. 20 - Alice Cheatley, 99: She was a teacher. She attended Normal School and later completed her B.A., B.Ed., and M.Ed. at the University of Manitoba and her PhD at the University of North Dakota. She taught in rural Manitoba and then in the Winnipeg School Division before becoming an administrator. She was the first full-time president the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association and was also president of the Manitoba Teachers’ Association. She was second vice-president of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, as well as president at chapter and provincial levels, and she was a founding member of the Manitoba Research Council. She was heavily involved with organizations such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Liberal Party, and the United Nations Association in Canada. She was honoured with the Order of Canada in 2002 and received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee medal in 2002 and the Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012.

Nov. 20 - Tony Rampone, 84: He was a master of pizza. He was born in Italy and came to Canada in 1957. He opened Tony's Master of Pizza on Pembina Highway in 1972. He opened up three other locations, including a restaurant on St. Mary 's Road, before selling the business in 1982. Today, the original Pembina Highway iconic location is the only one remaining.

Nov. 23 - David Lee, 71: He was a newspaperman. He began his career as an underage copy boy at the Winnipeg Tribune and rose through the reporting and editing ranks to become managing editor at the Winnipeg Free Press. After he left the Free Press in 1993, he continued to work until 2012 as a contract editor, helping produce several of the Free Press' insert publications.

Nov. 24 - Alan Bernstein, 67: He sold clothes. He was born in Winnipeg and graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1976. He began his career at Silverman Jewellers and later started his own company, Hangers Fashion Warehouse, in 1990 with his wife. The store expanded to a peak of 31 stores spread across the country until it went out of business in 2011.

Eric Irwin


Eric Irwin

Nov. 24 - Eric Irwin, 62: He helped put Dauphin on the country music map. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts at Brandon University and then studied law at the University of Manitoba. He articled at Legal Aid Manitoba in Dauphin and then started his own law practice in 1980. He became involved with the Dauphin Consumer’s Co-op in 1982, and became its president, a position he held until his passing. He was the longest serving president of a Co-op district in the federal organization’s history. He also served as a driving force behind the community’s annual Countryfest, which brings in country music’s biggest stars, serving as volunteer president for more than 30 years. He unsuccessfully ran federally for the NDP in 1988, but he became city councillor from 1998 to 2002, and then was elected mayor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

Nov. 25 - Ernie Gaudreau, 84: He played and coached sports. He began teaching at Norberry School and rose to be the Phys-Ed supervisor for the St. Vital School Division. He was inducted into the Manitoba Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a player on the Manitoba Junior All-Stars team that won the province’s first West­ern Canadian Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse Championship in 1951, and went on to be the first Manitoba team to compete in the Dominion Lacrosse final. He was also inducted into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame as the coach of the 1961-62 Glenlawn Lionettes and had his name placed on the Glenlawn Collegiate Wall of Fame for his contributions to the school.

Nov. 27 - Al Rouse, 92: He spent his life helping the community. His life of service began when he volunteered at 17 to join the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. Once back, he spent 43 years working with the province in the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench as a prothonotary-Registrar, Clerk of the Peace, and Magistrate. He was also the provincial administrator for the Federal Court of Canada. His list of volunteer accomplishments are numerous: he was president of the Kiwanis Club of East Kildonan, president of the Manitoba Government Employees Union, provincial chairman of the Youth Bowling Council of Canada, and board member of the Elmwood-Kildonan YMCA and the Concordia Hospital Foundation. He served as a school trustee in East and North Kildonan for 25 years, 12 of those as chairman of the River East School Division, and was table officer of the Canadian Association of School Trustees. He also served as chairman of the Manitoba Medical Services Foundation and vice-chairman of the Manitoba Blue Cross. He was honoured by the province with the Order of the Buffalo Hunt, and also received the Canadian Centennial Medal, the Kiwanis International President’s Award, the City of Winnipeg Community Award, and a street in North Kildonan is named in his honour.

Dec. 1 - Cecille Paterson, 94: She applied makeup. She studied art at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto before studying acting makeup with Perc Westmore in Hollywood and Eddy Senz in New York. She became head makeup artist at CBC Winnipeg in 1954, and was instrumental in setting up the makeup room there where she applied makeup on numerous people including Liberace. She retired in 1985 and was later honoured by being inducted to the CBC Wall of Fame at the CBC offices on Portage Avenue.

Dec. 2 - Rose Kondra, 99: She supported her Ukrainian heritage and community. She was a member of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada and served on the board of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Manitoba Branch. She was acting national president of the Women’s Council of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress and served as secretary-treasurer on the board of the Taras Shevchenko Foundation of Canada and secretary of the Council of Women of Winnipeg.

Dec. 3 - Leonard Harris, 94: He may have been Canada’s oldest shoe salesman. He was the youngest of five children and quit school in Grade 9 for a job that paid 10 cents an hour. He worked 50 years at Big 4 Sales and Stylerite, beginning as clerk and rising to buyer. After running a North End department store, he began working at Canadian Footwear when he was 73 and was still selling shoes when he was 90.

Dec. 4 - Ruth Breckman, 85: She helped remember history. She was employed by the Girl Guides of Canada where she trained adult volunteers, ran a summer camp and started a Brownie group in the inner city. She greatly expanded membership numbers when she was president of the Manitoba Genealogical Society and then was president of the Manitoba Heritage Federation when it was responsible for handing out grants to local museums and heritage sites.

Dec. 6 - Don Romano, 89: He helped Italians get their first homes in Winnipeg. He was born in Italy and came to Canada when he was in his twenties. He worked as a cook, but then founded Don Romano Realty in 1962. He helped new immigrants from Italy and elsewhere buy their first homes in Canada. He served several terms as president of the Italian Canadian League of Manitoba and the Manitoba Soccer Association.

Dec. 9 - Grant Munro, 94: He made animated movies. He was born in Winnipeg and went to Gordon Bell High School and the Winnipeg School of Art before studying at the Ontario College of Art. He was offered a job at the National Film Board by Norman McLaren and he teamed up with him to make several productions, including the Academy Award winning Neighbours in 1952. He also directed and produced the movies Toys, Tours en L’Air and Boo Hoo. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2008 and honoured with a retrospective of his films at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Dec. 12 - John Cumming, 60: He performed in drag. He worked for three decades in some of the city’s most iconic restaurants including The Chocolate Shop and the Old Spaghetti Factory. He volunteered extensively with the LGBTTQ* community, spent more than half of his life living with HIV/AIDS, was founder of the Village Clinic’s first HIV/AIDS peer support, and was Gio Care’s president for five terms. He was a drag artist for 43 years, performing as The One & Only Jennifur Coates, and he helped fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars for LGBTTQ* causes.

Dec. 16 - Wally Kiryluk, 77: He helped people living with disabilities. He suffered an industrial accident and had to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He volunteered for various organizations and served as president of the Injured and Disabled Workers’ Centre for 26 years. He was honoured with the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities’ Manitoba Access Award in 2000 and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal in 2004.

Eva Stubbs


Eva Stubbs

Dec. 16 - Eva Stubbs, 92: She was an artist. She was born in Hungary and came to Canada with her family as wartime Jewish refugees. When she tried to enrol at the U of M’s School of Art in her 20s, she was told she should be home with her husband and child. Accepted as a mature student in her 30s, she graduated when only a few sculptors were women. She created several of the busts in the Citizens Hall of Fame in Assiniboine Park, including the ones honouring novelist Carol Shields and theatre director John Hirsch. She was commissioned to create the bronze door handles at the Law Courts Building in Winnipeg and she was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1995.

Dec. 19 - Bob Menzies, 65: He was a family doctor. He grew up in Morden, the son and grandson of local doctors. He studied medicine at the U of M and returned to Morden to practise family medicine. He was an active member on community organizations and developed the clinical teaching unit at the Boundary Trails Health Centre. He was named one of Canada’s Family Physicians of the Year in 2002, and honoured with Morden’s Citizen of Distinction in 2017 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Benjamin (Ben) Hewak


Benjamin (Ben) Hewak

Dec. 21 - Benjamin Hewak, 82: He was the first Ukrainian to be the chief judge in Manitoba. He grew up in the North End and went to St. John’s Technical High School before going to the U of M and later graduating from the Manitoba Law School in 1960. He practised as a Crown attorney before becoming a defence counsel. He was appointed to the County Court of Manitoba in 1971, became a Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice in 1977 and was appointed Chief Justice in 1985. He retired in 2003 after serving 32 years on the bench. He also volunteered in the Ukrainian community by singing in the Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus, serving as chairman of the Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and sitting on the board of directors of the Holy Family Home.

Dec. 27 - Gerry Ilchyna, 75: She coached basketball. She was a longtime coach and teacher in St. Vital, especially Dakota Collegiate, and served 17 years as a manager in the Senior Women’s League for the Furnasman Flames and then the St. Vital Grads. She was inducted into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame as a builder in 1994.


Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

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