Memorable Manitobans: Mary Anne McPhee Konantz (1925-2015)
Born at Yorkton, Saskatchewan on 10 May 1925, daughter of Flora Connors and George Washington McPhee, she attended school in Ottawa where her father served in the House of Commons, returning to Saskatchewan when he was appointed a judge at Moose Jaw. After completing high school during the Second World War, she attended Radio College at Toronto then worked at as a civilian radio operator at an Air Observers School near Lethbridge, Alberta. She later attended the University of Manitoba, graduating in 1947 with a Home Economics degree. She then worked in a department store at Montreal for five years.
On 17 January 1953, she married William Gordon “Bill” Konantz (1925-2010), son of Gordon Edward Konantz and Margaret MacTavish Rogers, at Laguna Beach, California. They had three daughters. Active in the community, she served as President of the Junior League of Winnipeg (1964-1966) and was a member of the boards for the Winnipeg Clinic Research Institute, the Dr. Paul H. T. Thorlakson Foundation, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In 1966, she represented Manitoba on the Women’s Advisory Board to Expo 67. Active in provincial and federal politics, she was once called the “grande dame” of the Liberal Party in Manitoba.
She died at Winnipeg on 2 January 2015.
“Daughter of Moose Jaw judge weds W. G. Konantz at California ceremony,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 January 1953, page 14.
Death registration [George Washington McPhee], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 January 2015.
We thank Frances Kasper for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 2 July 2020