Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Charles “Jack” Wilt (1920-1989)


Born near Drinkwater, Saskatchewan in 1920, son of farmers Elvin and Mabel Wilt, he graduated with a medical degree from the University of Manitoba in 1945 and went directly into the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. After his discharge, he took postgraduate training in pathology and microbiology at the Winnipeg General Hospital with additional training in the United States. In 1953, he became Professor and Head of the Department of Medical Microbiology at the University of Manitoba, holding the position until 1976. He assisted in the development of the Cadham Provincial Laboratory, a microbiology service for the Health Sciences Centre. He served as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Medical Manpower.

After his retirement, he served on the boards of the Rh Institute, the Winnipeg Plasma Laboratory, the Manitoba Medical Services Foundation, and the Paul H. T. Thorlakson Foundation. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in recognition of his work in microbiology and for his efforts in polio vaccine trials during the 1950s. He was made a Professor Emeritus of the University of Manitoba and was honoured by the establishment of the J. C. Wilt Honourary Lectureship by the Cadham Provincial Laboratory and the J. C. Wilt Medical Microbiology Laboratories at the University of Manitoba. In 1988, he was inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt.

He died at Winnipeg on 16 April 1989.


“Dr. Wilt honored,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 January 1989, page 99.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 April 1989, page 36.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 September 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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