Lilja Olafson Family

page 1 | page 2




home | back to NIHM website
The Book Of Life
Alphabetical Story Index
Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
Olafson, Lilja

After completing my education in Gimli I worked for a year in the kitchen at Betel. I entered nurses training at the Winnipeg General Hospital and graduated in 1933. I worked in the hospital doing floor duty before I went into private duty nursing.

I did a year of post graduate work in psychiatric nursing in Brandon. After completing the course in Brandon I worked for two years for Fisher and Burpee selling medical supplies all over Canada.

I married Arni Olafson of Baldur, MB in 1940. Arni was the son of Eðvald and Thorunn Olafson. We made our home in Winnipeg where Arni was a painting contractor.

Arni and I were active in the First Lutheran Church and the Icelandic Canadian Club for many years. After my three sons, Brian and twins Donald and Douglas were old enough I returned to nursing at the Winnipeg General Hospital. I worked with the Alchoholic Foundation of Manitoba until my retirement in 1975.

My son Brian Gordon (1945- ) works at the University of Manitoba in the Plant Science Department as a lab technician in the Oil Seeds Quality Control Lab. He worked for Drs. Baldur Stefansson and Frithjof Hougen in the development of Canola. Brian married Katherine Stemp of Gimli and they have two children, Kristjana Sigridur and Johannes Arni. Kristjana is Inside Sales Coordinator for Signature Vacations of Winnipeg. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba. Johannes is a long distance trucker who enjoys painting and writing poetry and volunteering for the Icelandic Festival.


Donald Edvald (1947- ) retired as an Inspector from the Canadian National Railways Police Department in 2000. He married Linda Boyes of Wynyard Saskatchewan and they have two daughters, Kristine Lynne and Erica Dawn. The girls are both attending University in British Columbia after excelling in their high school studies. Donald and his family make their home in Kamloops, BC.

Douglas Bergthor (1947- ) retired from the R.C.M.P. in 1987 and is currently Director of Sheriffs for the Provincial Government. He married Dorothy Beattie of North Battleford Saskatchewan and they have two children, Devon Thorberg (wife Karen Duchak of Portage La Prairie, MB) and Donica Lara. After certifying as a Heavy Equipment Mechanic Devon works for Yanke Transport in Winnipeg as Shop Foreman. Donica will graduate from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in Sociology next year. She has worked for the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba for two years as a summer student. She also enjoys volunteering for the Festival.

Since my retirement and the death of my husband I live quietly in Winnipeg. I still return to my roots in Gimli where I maintain a summer home on First Avenue. I am proud of my Icelandic heritage and I am pleased that my grandchildren have become involved in the Icelandic community.

For more complete histories, please see: “Bergthor Thordarson Family,” in Gimli Saga, pp. 761-762; “The Thordarson Family,” in Wagons to Wings: History of Lundar & Districts, 1872-1980, pp. 718-720.