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Memorable Manitobans: Mary Dyck Kornelsen (1911-1988)


Born in the RM of Hanover on 16 April 1911, daughter of Gerhard G. Kornelsen and Anna Dyck (c1883-1982), she worked for many years as a teacher, starting at the age of 17 at Mitchell School (1928-1929) before attending the Central Normal School in Winnipeg. She returned to Mitchell School (1930-1933) before moving to Steinbach School (1933-1938) in Steinbach. She then taught at Pine Ridge School (1939-1941) before returning to the Steinbach School District as both a teacher (1942-1964) and the first female Principal (1946-1964) of Steinbach School / Kornelsen School. She completed her teaching career in the classroom at Elmdale School (1964-1971), after which she retired. She also taught for one full year at the Teachers’ College in Winnipeg, returning there to teach seven summer courses in Primary Methods. In recognition of her community service, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953) and the Canadian Centennial Medal (1967). She published an autobiography entitled Give Me This Mountain (1975). She died at the St. Boniface Hospital on 12 September 1988 and was buried in the Steinbach Cemetery.


Birth registration [Maria Kornelsen], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Marriage registration [Gerhard G. Kornelsen], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“G. G. Kornelsen dies on Easter Sunday,” Steinbach Carillon, 11 April 1958, page 1.

“New book reflects on teaching career,” Steinbach Carillon, 26 March 1975, page 3.

Obituary [Anna Korelsen], Steinbach Carillon, 8 September 1982, page 25.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 September 1988, page 49.

“Mary Kornelsen dies at age 77,” Steinbach Carillon, 21 September 1988, page 5.

Obituary, Steinbach Carillon, 21 September 1988, page 24.

Winnipeg estate file PR-89-01-14251, Mary D. Kornelsen, Archives of Manitoba.

We thank Jim Anderson and Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 July 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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