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Memorable Manitobans: Una Bernice Bjarnason “Byrdye” Beckel (1927-2008)

Community worker.

Born at Winnipeg on 29 May 1927, daughter of Bjarni Peter Bjarnason (c1895-1973) and Una Bjarnason (?-?), she resided most of her life in East Kildonan. On 5 March 1949, she married James Roger “Jim” Beckel (1923-1987) at First Lutheran Church and they subsequently had a daughter and two sons. She worked delivering Meals on Wheels and later became Coordinator of Volunteers, she was a representative for the Welcome Wagon, secretary for home welfare and was Executive Director of the Christmas Cheer Board of Greater Winnipeg (1974-1996). Byrdye was presented with the prestigious Premier’s Volunteer Service Award by Gary Filmon in 1996 and inducted into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt later that year. She died at Winnipeg on 12 May 2008.


“Beckel-Bjarnason wedding in First Lutheran Church,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 March 1949, page 11.

Obituary [Bjarni Peter Bjarnason], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 May 1973, page 40.

Obituary [James Roger Beckel], Winnipeg Free Press, 27 February 1987, page 51.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 2008.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 October 2021

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