Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 143 years

Memorable Manitobans: Ronald Crawford “Ron” Kirbyson (1937-2019)

Click to enlarge

Ronald Crawford Kirbyson
Click to enlarge

Educator, author.

Born at Minto on 1 September 1937, son of William Sanford “Bill” Kirbyson and Jean Steele Crawford (1909-1987), he began teaching at the age of 18, at a one-room school near Belmont, before continuing his education at Brandon College (BA 1959, Education Certificate 1960) and the University of Manitoba (MA 1966). He taught at Brandon Collegiate (1961-1964), Garden City Collegiate (1966-1969), West Kildonan (Social Studies Department Head, 1969-1970), Mount Allison University (1970-1971), Grant Park High School (1971-1975), Manitoba Department of Education (Social Studies Consultant, 1975-1978), Argyle Alternative High School (1978-1988), sabbatical leave (1988-1989), Adolescent Parent Centre (1989-1993), and Churchill High School (1993-1995).

A life-long historian, he was one of Canada’s best-selling history textbook authors, co-authoring Challenge & Survival (1970) with Harvey H. Herstein and L. J. Hughes, co-authoring and editing In Search of Canada (1977) with Elizabeth Peterson, and co-authoring Canada in a North American Perspective (1989) with Donald H. Avery, Donna M. Goodman, and J. Richard Young. He also wrote for the Brandon Sun and was a long-time book reviewer for the Winnipeg Free Press.

In December 1962, he married Dawn Wellman, granddaughter of James Wesley Hewitt, and they subsequently had a son and a daughter. Active in the community, he served on the boards of the River Heights Community Centre, Assiniboine Park Hockey Association, Manitoba Social Studies Teachers Association, Canadian Club of Winnipeg (President, four years), and Victoria Beach Club (serving as Tennis Convenor and editor of the Victoria Beach Herald). He was a member of the Lindsay Street Gardening Association and was a juror for the Margaret McWilliams Awards presented by the Manitoba Historical Society.

He died at Winnipeg on 20 September 2019.

His articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:

Review: Thomas Scott’s Body, and Other Essays on Early Manitoba History
Manitoba History, Number 42, Autumn / Winter 2001-2002


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 25 September 2019.

We thank Jillian Kirbyson for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 October 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Send corrections and additions to this page
to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban | Firsts | Acknowledgements

Help us keep
history alive!

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2022 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.