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Memorable Manitobans: Leonard Donnelly Peto (1918-2001)


Born at Virden on 19 July 1918, he graduated from the United College with a BA degree and from University of Manitoba with a BEd, then he began a teaching career, including service at Devonshire Collegiate (1944-1946), that was interrupted in 1953 when he contracted polio. After a year and a half in an iron lung, he returned to teaching, working from a wheelchair at River Heights Junior High School for 23 years as Head of the English Department.

In 1983 his lungs deteriorated and he returned to the King George Hospital where, with the help of a respirator, he continued to do volunteer teaching. His accomplishments were recognized in 1996 when he received the Governor Generals Caring Canadian Award and, in 1993, when he received an award from the Independent Living Resource Centre. The United Nations selected the Petos as the “Family of the Year” for Manitoba. He was a member of the Mentors Club, President of the Toastmasters group, honorary member of the Princess Elizabeth Guild, member of the Post Polio Club and worshipped at St. Aidans Anglican Church for over 50 years. He was a member of the Board of Riverview Health Centre.

He died at Winnipeg on 24 March 2001.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 28 March 2001.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 December 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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