Memorable Manitobans: Garth Fenton Pickell (1918-2005)
Born at Carman on 14 October 1918 to Anna Marie Jemima Clark (1882-1960) and Norman Roy Pickell (1887-1959), he grew up under the formative influence of his pioneer grandfather, William James Clark (1831-1924). It was at Carman High School that he wrote his first newspaper column, thus beginning a writing career that would span seven decades. Upon graduation in 1936, he became a columnist for the Carman Dufferin Leader, and in 1941, for the St. James Leader. During the Second World War, he enlisted with the Canadian Army, serving as Camp Correspondent at Fort Osborne Barracks; post-war, he became editor of the St. James Leader and the Springfield Leader. He was also Manitoba correspondent for the Canadian Weekly Editor magazine and a member of the Winnipeg Press Club. He served on the executives of the St. James Board of Trade and the St. James Legion.
In 1947, he married Anne Sandulak (1918-1991) of Sperling. The couple settled in St. James and went on to have two children. In 1949, he accepted a position as sales representative with Canadian Salt Company Limited and was transferred to Red Deer, Alberta for three years. He and Anne returned to Winnipeg in 1951, where he worked for Canadian Salt until his retirement. His territory included most of rural Manitoba and Thunder Bay. He was the recipient of several sales awards and for almost 30 years submitted a gossip column to the company newsletter. Upon his retirement, he wrote a column for the 1982 inaugural edition of Seniors Today, later called The Prime Times, and continued to contribute to The Pickell Barrel until his demise.
He gave over 20 years to the CanSurmount program for cancer survivors and served on numerous sick-visiting committees. For over two decades, he spent every Christmas morning visiting shut-in vets at Deer Lodge Hospital. Besides being a faithful supporter of an orphanage in Pohang, Korea, he was also a Shrine Daddy, a former Shrine Chanter, a 50-year member of Fidelity Masonic Lodge, an inductee of the Royal Order of Scotland, and a 60-year member of the Royal Canadian Legion, St. James Branch. He was Past-President of the Thistle Seniors Curling Club, a member of the Thursday Morning Break-y Club, and a convener of the popular Scottish Rite-irees Luncheon Club. In 2002, Garth became the proud recipient of the Walter C. McDonald Medal for meritorious service.
He died at the Grace Hospital on 17 August 2005.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 21 August 2005.
“Garth Fenton Pickell”, Sandau Family 17, Ancestry.
This page was prepared by Lois Braun.
Page revised: 10 August 2022