Memorable Manitobans: Edwin Cleland “Ed” Nix (1907-2003)
Purchasing agent, historian.
Born in Winnipeg’s North End on 6 April 1907, son of Garry Thornton Nix (1887-1963) and Sarah Dora Lawson (1888-1980), cousin of Margaret E. Nix and nephew of Irvine F. Nix, he attended Luxton School and St. John’s Technical High School. He was a member of St. John’s United Church and St. James United Church where he was a Sunday School Superintendent, member of the board of Elders, and Clerk of the Session. From time to time he conducted church services. His interest was in beautiful things, such as the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building where he was instrumental in surveying flowerbeds and helping with the planting of trees and shrubs. For over 45 years, he worked for Stovel Company Limited, pioneer printers in Western Canada, starting as stock keeper, later as purchasing agent. He was the President of the Canadian Association of Purchasing Agents in 1960 and was later made an Honorary Life Member.
On 28 March 1931, he married Emily Maud Crowle (?-?) at St. James. They had one son, Paul E. Nix (1933-2002). He was known for his unique family Christmas cards. He and son Paul took photographs and designed the cards together for over 60 years. Ed was a long-standing member of the Manitoba Historical Society. For ten years, he represented the Society on the City of Winnipeg’s Historical Buildings Committee, where he helped to compile lists of historically important buildings. In 1970, he became involved with the restoration of what became Dalnavert Museum, and he later spent many hours showing visitors through it.
Ed was a great traveller. He loved his native land, especially the North West Territories. He spent many weeks on the Mackenzie River on the HBC sternwheel riverboat. He travelled the length and breadth of Lake Winnipeg on the SS Keenora. In 1926, he shot the Grand Rapids of the Saskatchewan River. He visited Churchill with his son eight times. Ed and Paul crossed Canada coast to coast via the Canadian Pacific Railway and CNR. He visited the Yukon and Alaska with the Manitoba Historical Society via the Inside Passage. He spent many summers at Grand Marais, the summer family retreat. A highlight for Ed was when he and his family played “home away from home” for 106 military trainees on leave from their training base in Shilo. During the Second World War, these boys paid 207 visits, varying from a few hours to weeks at a time, to the Nix household. Some still kept in touch with Ed and he appreciated those friendships.
He died peacefully at Winnipeg’s Deer Lodge Centre on 5 August 2003.
“September statistics,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 October 1906, page 9.
Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Obituary [Garry T. Nix], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 April 1963, page 32.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 7 August 2003.
We thank Margaret Eyolfson and Mary (neé Nix) Gomide for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 9 October 2020