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Memorable Manitobans: Willard Ervin Rife (1890-1970)


Born at Alpena, Michigan on 5 August 1890, he came to Manitoba with his parents in 1901 and settled at Birtle. During the First World War, he served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He spent 48 years teaching in Manitoba schools, including service at Crandall School (1918-1920), Carroll School (1920-1921), Oakner School (1924-1932), Darlingford School (1932-1939), Neelin School (1939-1940), Starbuck School (1942-1944), Baldur School (1944-1945), Graysville School (1945-1950), Balmoral School (1950-1951), Waskada School (1951-1952), Altamont School (1952-1956), Tilston School (1956-1957), and Grey School (1957-1960). On 1 August 1923, he married Victoria Louise Harding (1897-1985) in the RM of Glenwood. They had no children. He was a member of the United Church and Masonic Lodge. He died at Brandon on 11 December 1970 and was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.


Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

“Teachers at the convention,” Brandon Sun, 15 October 1920, page 6.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 19 December 1970, page 33.

Obituary [Victoria Louise Rife], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 March 1985, page 36.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 March 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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