Memorable Manitobans: Patricia “Pat” Jonasson (?-2006)
Born at Halifax, Nova Scotia to Mary Isabelle Oldfield (?-1971), she spent her early life there and then studied nursing. She developed a love for obstetrics and had a gift for assisting women in pregnancy and childbirth that was recognized by the Nova Scotia Health Department, who sponsored her to seek further training in midwifery at the Maternity Centre Association in New York City. Following her graduation as a Certified Nurse Midwife, she returned to Halifax. In 1964, accompanied by her mother, she moved to Winnipeg to be closer to her brother and his family.
She found a career at the Women’s Pavilion and was instrumental in the development of the first Lamaze classes offered in Winnipeg. She also worked with a well-known obstetrician, Otto Arnold Schmidt, as the first obstetric associate in Canada, which was the subject of an article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in February 1973. Eventually she moved across the river to St. Boniface Hospital to practise nursing in Labour and Delivery. During her time there, she helped bring thousands of babies into the world, which included many of her family’s and friends’ children. The majority of her time at St. Boniface was spent as the Night Charge Nurse, where she formed a special bond with the staff, who appreciated her strength and compassion, and her strong and quiet leadership.
With her husband, Donald Arman Jonasson (1938-2008), she had one child. In 2000, she and her husband moved to Brandon to be closer to their son and his family. As a grandmother, she was a proud supporter of her grandchildren’s athletic abilities and school achievements and guided them with her practical wisdom.
She died at Brandon on 19 July 2006.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 July 2006.
Obituary [Donald Arman Jonasson], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 December 2008.
This page was prepared by Lois Braun.
Page revised: 14 December 2022