John and Lilia Arnason Family

John & Lilia Arnason

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Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
Arnason, John & Lilia

By Lilia Arnason

My husband and I remained in Winnipeg where he began working for Manitoba Hydro after graduating as an Electrical Engineer from the University of Manitoba. His career took him through six levels of management before retiring in 1986 as the President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro.

We have both been active in community work.

John was one of the longest continuous serving members of the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, and was instrumental in the restoration of the Gimli Public School and the Gimli Unitarian Church.

I have been a member of the Icelandic Canadian Club and the Icelandic National League, as well as making numerous appearances in my Icelandic costume to speak at schools and various service groups. I was also honoured to be chosen Fjallkona in 1989.

We have been fortunate to visit Iceland five times with the highlight being a trip in 1974 with our children to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

After living in Winnipeg on Dominion Street all our married life, we moved to Gimli in 1986 after John retired. He passed away on Jan. 21, 1998. As I look back I am grateful for our time together and the legacy we will leave our children.

For more complete histories please see: Benjamín Kristjánsson, Vestur-Íslenzkar Æviskrár, Vol. I, pp. 20-21, 25-26, 191-92, 197-98, Vol. III, pp. 10-16; “Johann Arnason Family,” Gimli Saga, pp. 452-457; “Einar and Oddfríður Johnson” in Wagons to Wings: History of Lundar and Districts, 1872-1980, pp. 471-472.



We have four children.

Wayne Bergthor (b. June 2, 1950), William Jon (b. Mar. 2, 1953), Christine Shonda (b. May 16, 1955), and Gary Byron (b. Aug. 21, 1956).

Wayne attended the University of Manitoba, the University of Toronto, and graduated from the Harvard Divinity School. He served as a Unitarian minister in California and Virginia, and is currently, along with his wife and fellow Unitarian minister Kathleen Rolenz, co-minister of the West Shore Unitarian Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Wayne and Kathleen have one daughter, Sarah.

Bill and his wife Judy Stroppa reside in Winnipeg with their daughter Stefanie. Bill works for the City of Winnipeg in Works and Operations.

Christine graduated from the University of Manitoba with a B.P.E. and is teaching physical education in Winnipeg. She is married to Glen Brooks and they have three boys together: Jason, Jeremy, and Ryan.

Gary also graduated from U of M with a B.P.E. and, like his sister, is teaching physical education in Winnipeg. He is married to Susan Falk and has two boys, Jared and Tyler.