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Memorable Manitobans: Gudrun Valdina “Valdine” Johnson (1923-2018)


Born at Piney on 22 June 1923, one of nine children of Icelandic immigrants John Johnson (1885-1959) and Olina Adalheidur Josephson (1898-1975), the family moved to Winnipeg in 1942. After receiving a teacher’s diploma from the Central Normal School, she taught at Cypress School (1942-1944), Argyle School (1945-1952), and Fort Churchill School (1952-1953) before moving to Europe where she taught the children of Canadian military personnel at St. Germain for four years. She returned to Canada in 1960, first to Churchill then to Winnipeg where she remained for the rest of her teaching career. She taught at Machray School (?-?), Sisler High School (1964-1969), and Lansdowne School (?-?). She served as the Principal of Cecil Rhodes School (1973-?) and Elmwood School (?-?). Before retirement in 1984, she was an Area Superintendent for the Winnipeg School Division, the first woman to hold the position. She was a member of the University Women’s Club, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, and Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, and volunteered with the Children’s Hospital Book Market. She died unmarried at Winnipeg on 24 April 2018.


Marriage registration [John Johnson and Olina Adalheidur Josephson], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [John Johnson], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 January 1959, page 19.

Obituary [Olina A. Johnson], Winnipeg Free Press, 17 October 1975, page 33.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 28 April 2018.

We thank Norman Malayney for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 21 September 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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