Bill & Kristine Perlmutter

Perlmutter family
The Bill and Kristine
Perlmutter Family
(L to R): David, Bill, Signy, Sara, Kristine

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Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
Perlmutter, Bill & Kristine

Bill’s paternal grandparents, David and Miriam Perlmutter, immigrated to Canada from Russia. Miriam and four of their children—Morris, Freda, Rose, and Jack (Bill’s father, b. Apr. 3, 1911) came after David had been in Canada for two years, working to save enough money to send for his wife and children. Children Shirley, Hymie, Harry, and Bert were all born in Canada. The Perlmutter family bought City Bread Company of Winnipeg and the bakery remained in the family until the 1970s. Brothers Morris, Hymie, and Jack were all involved in the business.

Bill’s maternal grandmother, Helga Bardal Johnston was born on Apr. 1, 1886 in Iceland, and came to Canada with her family in 1887. She was the daughter of Halldór Sigurgeirsson Bardal and his wife, Rannveig Marin Hinriksdóttir. Helga had one older sister, Vigdís Jakobína. After his wife’s death, her father married a second time and had a large family: Karí, Sigurgeir, Halldór, Ásgeir, Victor, Jón, Baldur, Friðrik, Rannveig (Rae), Ruth and Sesselja.

Helga taught school in Argyle, Vestfold, and Arborg. Her sister, Vigdís, died as a young woman and Helga married the man who had been her husband, Páll Pétursson Johnston (b. 1879) on July 10, 1912. Through this marriage she acquired a stepson, Halldór Paul, her sister’s only living child.

Helga and Páll had four children together: Elín (Mrs. Bill Godber), Ernest (m. Bertha Elizabeth Coutts), Grace (Mrs. Robert G. Pollock), and Betty (Mrs. Jack Perlmutter, b. Mar. 21, 1921), who was Bill’s mother. Páll Johnston died in 1929 and Helga was left to support their young family. She died in Winnipeg on Feb. 10, 1960.

Bill’s parents, Jack Perlmutter and Betty Johnston Perlmutter were married in 1941, and made their home at 707 Banning Street in Winnipeg.

They had four children:

Karen—married Robert LeGoff (now divorced). Their children are Michael, Daniel, and William LeGoff.

Mary Helga—married Fern Fournier (now divorced). Their children are Brian, Stephen, and Kevin Fournier.

Ruth Elín—married Norman McLean (now deceased). Their children are Kenneth and Norman McLean.

James William (Bill) married Kristine Jakobson (see Bjarki and Borga Jakobson story). Their children are David, Signy, and Sara.

Betty Johnston Perlmutter passed away in Sept. 1972, with Jack following her in Aug. 1983.


Bill and Kristine Perlmutter live in Winnipeg. Bill has a B.Sc. and an M.B.A. from the University of Manitoba and is employed by the federal government with Western Diversification. Kristine has a B.A. (Hons.) in English and an M.Ed from the University of Manitoba. She is an educator who is currently working as a resource and special education teacher for the Fort Garry School Division. Their son, David, is presently pursuing a degree in History at the University of Winnipeg. Their twin daughters, Signy and Sara, are going into grade twelve at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg in the 2000-2001 academic year.

Bill and Kristine made an enjoyable trip to Iceland in 1976, and have had the opportunity to welcome many relatives from Iceland into their home over the years. Many strong ties have resulted. They have been very active in the Icelandic community in Manitoba. As students at the University of Manitoba, they became involved in the Icelandic Students’ Society. Among other things, this group put on several plays that were staged at such venues as the Icelandic Canadian Club convention and Íslendingadagurinn. Bill was involved in the lighting for these productions, and Kristine enjoyed acting, particularly the part of the old woman in Davíð Stefánsson’s Gullna Hilíðið (The Golden Gate).

Bill has acted as treasurer of the Icelandic National League and is the current treasurer (for the second time around) of the weekly newspaper Lögberg-Heimskringla. Both Bill and Kristine were active in the Icelandic Canadian Club and subsequently in the Icelandic Canadian Frón. Bill served as the president of the Icelandic Canadian Frón for 1980-81. Bill was also a member of the original HIP (Heritage Image Pride) committee which sought to raise money to support the Chair of Icelandic at the University of Manitoba.

As a student at the University of Manitoba, Kristine took several courses in the Department of Icelandic and particularly enjoyed studying Icelandic literature and history. In addition to her involvements with the Icelandic Students’ Society and on the executives of the Icelandic Canadian Club and Icelandic Canadian Frón, Kristine was a member for several years of the Íslendingadagurinn committee. She was also involved in the Icelandic Language and Cultural Camp for several years. She has written many articles for the newspaper Lögberg-Heimskringla over the years and has served as a member of the Editorial Board of the Icelandic Canadian magazine for twenty-five years. She has written and edited articles for the magazine, in addition to the occasional stint as Managing Editor. She also wrote a companion guide to the Vínland Sagas for students.