Memorable Manitobans: Shirley Norma Thordarson McCreedy (1922-2009)
Musical educator, community activist.
Born on 14 February 1922, youngest daughter of Fred Thordarson (c1891-1966) and Norma Thordarson (c1897-1983), she graduated from Daniel McIntyre Collegiate in 1939 and attended Manitoba Commercial College, working as a secretary for a time. She taught piano for two years at Strathmillan School in St. James before opening her own home studio, where she taught for many years before retiring in 1996.
She attained her Associate of The Royal Conservatory of Toronto (ARCT) Piano Teachers diploma in 1962 and joined of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association (MRMTA) in 1966 (President, 1975-1976), where she was a four-year representative of the provincial association to the Canadian Registered Music Teachers’ Association (CRMTA). She served as Secretary of the planning committee for the 1975 Biennial Convention of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers, Business Manager of the CRMTA’s magazine for eight years. Active with the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir for many years, as well as the New Icelandic Choir of Winnipeg, and a frequent stage presence at the Folklorama Scandinavian Pavilion, she was Regent of the Jon Sigurdsson Chapter IODE, and President of the ARCT Alumni Association, Women’s Committee of the Men’s Music Club, Women’s Inter-Church Council, Evangelical Lutheran Women’s Auxiliary, and a Board Member of the Association of Christian Churches in Manitoba.
Through her 20-plus year service as Choir Director at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, she also was the Canadian representative to the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship, culminating with the 1978 Hymnal and Lutheran Book of Worship. For her efforts, in 1992 she received honourary membership in the National Icelandic League as well as the 125th Anniversary of Confederation Medal, and was named Maid of the Mountain (also known as Fjallkona) at Gimli’s annual Icelandic celebration in 1993. She was a proud fan of the Winnipeg Falcons.
On 22 September 1944, she married W. Russel McCreedy at Winnipeg and had three children.
She died at Winnipeg on 28 March 2009.
“First Lutheran is scene of wedding,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 September 1944, page 9.
Obituary [Fred Thordarson], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 November 1966, page 27.
Obituary [Norma Thordarson], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 April 1983, page 44.
Obituary [Shirley Norma McCreedy], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 2009, page C11.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 21 September 2022