Memorable Manitobans: Jean Warna King Edmonds (1921-1994)
Journalist, civil servant.
Born at Winnipeg on 7 January 1921, one of two children of Henrietta Jane Hawthorne (1882-1940) and Amos Warne King (1877-1944), she received a degree in Economics and English from the University of Manitoba (1942).
From 1942 to 1964, she worked as a journalist for the Financial Post, initially as assistant investor editor and features editor at Toronto, Ontario. After returning to Winnipeg, she was contributing editor, columnist, and the paper's first western editor, writing under the byline of “J. K. Edmonds”. She also did broadcasting work for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
In 1964, she joined the federal civil service as a regional economist for the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Two years later, she joined the newly-formed Department of Manpower and Immigration and, in 1968, she returned to Winnipeg as Regional Director for the Prairie Region. She became Assistant Deputy Minister in the Department of Regional Industrial Development. She moved to the private sector in 1981, associated with the management consultants of Hickling-Johnston. A return to public service in 1984 entailed positions of Associate Secretary to the Minister of State for Economic and Regional Development.
After her retirement in July 1985, she was appointed to head the Task Force on Barriers to Women in the Public Service and was Chair of the Manitoba Telephone System (1985-1987). In recognition of her leadership, her colleagues established a lecture series in her honour. The first lecture, in March 1994 during International Women's Week, was delivered by judge Rosalie Abella. Two office towers in downtown Ottawa, occupied by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, were named in her honour.
On 1 May 1942, she married pharmacist George Hounsfield Edmonds (1916-1991) at Winnipeg and they had a daughter and a son.
She died at Victoria, British Columbia on 31 January 1994.
Birth registration [Jean Warna Marguerite King], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Death registrations [Henrietta Hawthorne King, Amos Warne King], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Mrs. A. Warne King dies at her home,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 January 1940, page 13.
Marriage registration [Jean Warna Marguerite King, George Hounsfield Edmonds], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Death registrations [George Hounsfield Edmonds, Jean Warna Marguerite Edmonds], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Obituary [Jean W. Edmonds], Winnipeg Free Press, 2 February 1994, page 30.
This page was prepared by Paul Barber and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 31 March 2023