B.V. (Valdi) & Kristin

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The Book Of Life
Alphabetical Story Index
Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
Arnason, B.V. (Valdi) & Kristin

By B.V. Valdi Arnason

My family’s history in this country began in 1885 when Jóhann Pétur Árnason and his wife Dóróthea Soffia Abrahamsdóttir left their home in Villingdalur, Eyjafjörður, Iceland and traveled to “New Iceland”, settling in Bolstaður, along with their three children, Jóhann Vilhjalmur, Fridrika, and Guðjón. They overcame many difficulties that faced the early settlers and their lives were guided by a strong work ethic and abundant faith. Many of the early years were spent at Espihóll in the Minerva District.

My father Jóhann Vilhjalmur Árnason married Guðrún Björg Jónsdóttir in 1915. Guðrún’s family had emigrated from her home in Egilstaðir, Vopnafjörður, Iceland in 1892. My father displayed many of the skills and characteristics that are so common amongst Icelandic people. His love of reading and self-teaching led him to become an Accountant. He was also an accomplished carpenter who was involved in the construction of the Gimli Park Pavilion (amongst other projects). As was the case with so many Icelandic men, he was also involved in the fishing industry for many years.

My mother and father lived at 72-6th Ave. in Gimli. Home was always a place that was filled with warmth and my mother was always there for us. I was the eldest of 9 children (b. May 25, 1916), all born and raised at home. My siblings included Olöf, Johann (J.T), Anna, Jon, Elin, Herman, Frederick and Gordon.


Both my parents believed strongly in community service. Mother devoted a great deal of time to the Gimli Lutheran Church and was very involved in church activities. Dad served on the school board, the Gimli Town Council and the Icelandic Festival Committee.

My father passed away at the age of 79 in 1965 and mother passed away in 1998 at the age of 109. At the time of her passing she was the oldest living Icelander in the world. At the time of this writing, I am also predeceased by siblings Olöf, Jon, and Gordon.

My early working years included many different endeavors ranging from the fishing industry, mining in Pickle Lake Ontario, construction work, and log hauling in Timmons Ontario. I then moved back to Gimli and became a meat cutter and butcher. I opened my own business (Tip Top Foods), in partnership with my brother Joe in 1947 and I semi-retired in 1975.

In the late 1930s I met my wonderful wife, Kristín (Chrissie) Jónina Benson and we were married in 1941. Her parents were Jónasina and Joe Benson. Chrisse and I worked hard together through the early years and set up a home where our three children, Patricia, Valdine, and Timothy, enjoyed a loving and supportive environment.