Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Jane Rawson Evans (1931-2017)


Born at Sunnybrae, Nova Scotia on 14 March 1931, daughter of Anne Victoria Macdonald and Earlen Rawson, she earned a BA degree from Acadia University (1951) and a BEd degree from Saint Francis Xavier University (1953) before marrying gymnastics champion Robert Thomas Evans II (1934-2003) in 1957. She taught at Edgehill School, East Pictou Rural High School, and Halifax West High School before receiving a Master’s degree in Physical Education from the University of Wisconsin (1970) and a PhD in Physical Education for Exceptional Children from Ohio State University (1972).

After taking a teaching position at the University of Manitoba, as a rookie coach she lead the Woman’s Basketball team to its first championship in 1957. She later held academic positions at Ohio State University, Brock University, and Saint Francis Xavier University. She received numerous research grants, authored many research articles and published two textbooks in the field of Movement Education, entitled They Have to be Carefully Taught: A Handbook for Parents and Teachers of Young Children with Handicapping Conditions (1980) and Let’s Dance: A Movement Approach to Folk Dance (1981). In 1965, she founded the Manitoba International Dance Festival and was instrumental in the development of the provincial Adapted Physical Education curriculum for children with special needs in Manitoba. She retired from teaching at Brock University in 1991 and, in retirement, published two more books, Ah ‘Tis a Sunny Brae (1999) and From Scenes Like These (2003).

She died at Moncton, Nova Scotia on 22 September 2017 and was interred in the Sunnybrae Cemetery.


Obituary [Robert Thomas Evans], Winnipeg Free Press, 11 January 2003.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 3 October 2017.

This page was prepared by Melanie Geraghty and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 April 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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