Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Asa Kristjansson MacDonell (1918-2020)

Physician, administrator.

Born at Winnipeg on 5 May 1918, the second in a family of five children born to Icelandic immigrants Frida and Fridrik Kristjansson, she excelled in school and music in her youth, and considered a career as a professional musician before being convinced by her father to attend university. The attended the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba and graduated in 1943. Shortly afterwards, she married fellow physician John A. “Jack” MacDonell and they later had a daughter. She enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps and, after the Second World War ended, she and her husband remained in London, England to take further medical studies before returning to Winnipeg.

After several years as an allergy specialist, she moved into medical administration. In the early 1960s, she became an Assistant Administrator of the Deer Lodge Hospital, later rising to become its Administrator. She was instrumental in the creation of the Geriatric Day Hospital at the facility. She retired to Victoria, British Columbia in 1985, moving to Toronto, Ontario in 2001 to be closer to their family. She died there on 29 June 2020.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 August 2020.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 January 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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