Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Irma Rachel Penn (1945-2013)

Archivist, artist.

Born Irmgard Aganetha Epp at Steinbach on 20 August 1945, she graduated from Mount Royal College at Calgary and worked for the Privy Council at Ottawa and the United Nations at New York City. Returning to Winnipeg, she taught business courses. After meeting her husband, Marvin Penn (1913-2001), she joined his real estate firm and later volunteered with Abe Arnold on the Jewish Historical Newsletter, among other activities. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (1980) and a Master’s of Education (1987) degree from the University of Manitoba, where she worked designing educational software. She was the first archivist for the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada (JHC) and one of the world’s first female Torah scribes. The JHC named her Archivist Emeritus and named its archives The Irma and Marvin Penn Archives. She donated her papers and photographs to the Jewish Heritage Centre. She died at Winnipeg on 30 July 2013 and was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.


Obituary [Marvin Michael Penn], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 April 2001.

Obituary, The Jewish Post & News.

This page was prepared by Eva Janssen and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 February 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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