Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Duncan James Jessiman (1923-2006)

Lawyer, Senator (1993-1998).

Born at Winnipeg on 5 June 1923, son of William Jessiman (?-?) and Rubina “Ruby” Jessiman (1893-1934), he joined the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War and served with coastal forces in Canada, United Kingdom, and France, participating in the D-Day invasion on 6 June 1944. He received a military discharge in August 1945 and returned to Winnipeg where he received a law degree. He began practicing law in 1948 in partnership with Arthur Johnston, eventually forming the firm of Johnston, Jessiman, Gardner, and Twaddle. In 1971, it merged with the Pitblado law firm where he was a partner. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1962 and served as a Bencher for the Law Society of Manitoba (1974-1976). A long-time member of the Conservative Party of Canada, he was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1993, serving until 1998 when he returned to law practice with the firm of Aikins, MacAulay, Thorvaldson until retirement in 2005. He married Marion Joan Perrin (1924-2015), daughter of John D. Perrin and Ruth Taylor Litle (1888-1986). They divorced around 1970 after which he married his former sister-in-law Alix Elizabeth Hopwood (1919-2012), widow of W. J. Hopwood. He was active with the Rotary Club of Winnipeg (President), University of Winnipeg (Chairman, Board of Regents), Victorial General Hospital Research and Services (Chairperson), Rainbow Stage (Director), and Canadian Arthritis Society (Director). He was involved in the operation of several businesses, including Service Corporation International Canada, Geocrude Energy, Pan Cana Resources, RIMOIL, Air Canada, and Progressive Holdings. He was a member of the Manitoba Club and St. Charles Country Club. He died at Vancouver, British Columbia on 19 April 2006.

Sources:

Death registration [Ruby Jessiman], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 April 2006.

Obituary [Marion Joan Jessiman], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 September 2015.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank John Perrin for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 31 August 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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