Memorable Manitobans: Grace Edna Johnson (c1910-1997)
Nurse, hospital administrator.
Born on a farm near Moosomin, Saskatchewan around 1910, daughter of Sarah Edna McCartney (c1885-1958) and William James Johnson (1877-1939), her family moved to Winnipeg in 1918. Her nursing career began in 1934, at the Winnipeg General Hospital. Three years later, she became Head Nurse of its maternity ward. During the Second World War, she was one of 4,500 women who enlisted with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, serving as Head Nurse of the neurological surgical ward of the Canadian Neurological Hospital at Basingstoke, England.
In 1949, she was appointed the first Director of Winnipeg’s Maternity Pavilion (now the Women’s Hospital at the Health Sciences Centre). She spent a year travelling around North America and the United Kingdom to find best practices to implement at the new facility which opened on 26 April 1950.
In 1954, she left Winnipeg to become Director of Nursing at McKellar Hospital at Fort William (now Thunder Bay), Ontario. In 1962, she was hired by Veterans Affairs in Ottawa as a consulting nurse for the care of nearly 10,000 Canadian veterans in hospitals across Canada.
She later married Cyril Binder (?-1992) and moved with him in retirement to Florida.
She died at Bradenton, Florida on 1 July 1997.
Attestation papers [William James Johnson], Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
Birth registration [Robert Sidney Johnson], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Canadian Voter Lists, 1935, Ancestry.
Obituary [William James Johnson], Winnipeg Tribune, 3 June 1939, page 28.
Obituary [Sarah Edna Johnson], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 August 1958, page 4.
Biographical profile, Canadian Nurse, Volume 58, Number 6, June 1962.
Obituary [Robert Sidney Johnson], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 September 1983, page 70.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 July 1997, page 59.
This page was prepared by Christian Cassidy.
Page revised: 3 April 2022