Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John David Bartlette (1946-2005)

Singer, educator.

Born on 6 June 1946 to Joseph Roger Bartlette (1904-1973) and Louise Anna Schroeder (1911-2005), he was raised in Morris. As a young man, he was a gifted athlete, and in 1967 became the Manitoba featherweight weightlifting champion, qualifying to compete in the Pan American Games. He chose instead to study music with Dorothy Lawson. He went on to perform various operatic tenor roles with the Winnipeg Mennonite Theatre, Manitoba Opera Association, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He also sang with CBC Television’s Hymn Sing, and the Faith and Life Choir, which often toured internationally.

He and his wife Lin Unger, and their two children, made their home in the Steinbach-Blumenort area of southeastern Manitoba. He was known for his wry sense of humour and flair for comedy both on and off stage. He taught at the Blumenort School for 27 years. During that time, he enrolled in a teacher exchange program, which took him to Australia for a year. While there, his direction of the school choir culminated in an award-winning performance at the Sydney Opera House, with his wife accompanying them on the piano.

He died at Steinbach on 10 June 2005 and was buried in the Morris Cemetery.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 June 2005.

Joseph Roger Bartlette”, Reid-Schroeder Genealogies website.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 17 August 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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