Memorable Manitobans: Verna Van Roon (1920-2011)
Born on 12 February 1920, she was active in her support for church and community. She led the Charleswood United Church Sunday School, was a playground leader for Charleswood Recreation, and served for a dozen years on the board of the Assiniboine South School Division. As a result of her influence, an elite choir, Pembina Trails Voices, was founded. She helped to establish a war memorial recognizing Charleswood veterans who lost their lives in military service, and helped to preserve the Assiniboine Forest, Wellington Crescent bike path, and Caron pioneer farmhouse. She also worked with Brownies, Meals on Wheels, and the Charleswood Historical Society.
She and her husband Len Van Roon were instrumental in establishment of the Charleswood Museum, and it was dedicated to them in April 2007. Together, they created the book Photos and Fragments of Charleswood History celebrating Charleswood’s early history, and for many years toured school classrooms to encourage children to learn about local history. In recognition of her exemplary community service, she received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award (1998), Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), and a Heritage Winnipeg Distinguished Service Award. She and her family were commemorated by the Van Roon Prairie Garden along the Harte Trail.
She died at Winnipeg on 10 February 2011.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 February 2011, page C16.
Photos and Fragments of Charleswood History: A Collection of Historic Photographs of Our Community and the Stories They Tell by Len Van Roon & Verna Van Roon, Charleswood Historical Society, 2003.
We thank Jill Paskewitz (Charleswood Historical Society) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 30 March 2016
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