Memorable Manitobans: Katherine Ruth Casselman Wilson Tickle (1912-2008)
Born at Emerson on 10 May 1912, daughter of Ezra Casselman and Bertha Ann Guthrie (1868-1925), while attending the University of Manitoba she met her future husband John William “Jack” Wilson (1912-1957, brother of Mel Wilson) at a political study group in the basement of J. S. Woodsworth’s Winnipeg home. After graduation they did farm extension work for the Manitoba Department of Agriculture and were married on 14 September 1943. They moved to British Columbia and established a communal farm at South Surrey that they worked with others from their former study group.
The group separated in 1953 and the couple moved to Abbotsford then Vernon where she taught school. She continued to teach, cook at a summer camp, and worked as secretary to the Canadian Mental Health Society. When the John Howard Society came to British Columbia, she volunteered as its secretary. In 1971, as they built a new Howard House, she met retired millwright Sydney “Syd” Tickle (1905-1984) and they were married in 1972. They moved near Nanaimo where she continued her involvement with the John Howard Society.
After her husband’s death, she moved into Nanaimo and was President of the John Howard Society (Nanaimo Chapter), and helped to open a sheltered for battered women as a member of the Council of Women. She cooked and served at the Seven to Ten club, an organization that gave breakfast and packed school lunches for low-income families, and was secretary of the Coal Tyee Society that recorded the history of coal mining and the miner’s union struggles on Vancouver Island. She served on the board of Traveler’s Lodge, a government-sponsored assisted living facility for seniors in Nanaimo, and catalogued exhibits for the Bastion Museum.
In recognition of her exemplary community service, she received a Governor General’s Award for Community Service (1992) and was Essence Magazine’s Senior of the Year (1999).
She died at Nanaimo, British Columbia on 30 September 2008.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Death registration [Sydney Tickle], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Obituary, Nanaimo News Bulletin, 30 September 2008.
This page was prepared by Linda Nobes and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 1 December 2021