Memorable Manitobans: Reginald Otto Lissaman (1908-1974)
Born at Brandon on 24 April 1908, son of Frank Cecil Lissaman (1870-1954) and Annie Katharine Wiener (1872-1954), he attended the Brandon Collegiate Institute then the Chicago Technical College where he received training on building construction. After returning from Chicago, he was employed by the Canadian Bank of Commerce at Grandview then returned to Brandon to work in the family construction business. During the Great Depression, he was a regular contributor to Popular Science Monthly for a period of about five years. He became President of Lissamans Limited in 1960.
Elected to the Manitoba Legislature at a by-election on 21 January 1952, he was re-elected at the general elections in 1953, 1958, 1959, 1962, and 1966 and served as the Conservative party's critic for education. In 1967, he returned a Canadian Centennial Medal that he had been given earlier that year, in protest for the medal having also been given to Quebec separatists. He retired from politics in 1969 then served as Chair of the International Peace Garden (1969-1974).
On 20 April 1931, he married Beatrice Martha Kennedy (1908-1980) at Brandon and they had three daughters. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Brandon Camera Club (President), Brandon Poultry Breeders Association, and Brandon Rotary Club.
He died at Brandon on 14 August 1974, a few weeks after being inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt for his efforts in the development of the International Peace Garden. He was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.
Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1956.
“No source of pride,” Roblin Review, 23 November 1967, page 4.
“R. O. Lissaman died today,” Brandon Sun, 14 August 1974, page 1.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 16 March 2022