Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: David Edward Pischke (1948-2004)

Community activist.

Born at Ashern on 8 February 1948, son of William Pischke (1907-1951) and Caroline Kolodka (?-1987), after his father died and his mother remarried, he left home at the age of 15, eventually finding work in the sawmills around Williams Lake, British Columbia, building the Red River Floodway with Ramsay Bird, and constructing the highway near Lumsden, Saskatchewan. A job at the Spearhill limestone quarry brought him back to Manitoba, where he settled at Moosehorn. In 1969, he married Bonnie Shiells, with whom he had two sons. After divorce, he married Evelyn “Lynne” Jenson (Heatley) (1940-2012) in 1985. Ten years later, he moved to Steep Rock where he worked for Graymont Western Canada for 36 years, most of those on the rock-crushing machine.

In 1995, in an effort to educate people about child abuse, he and his twin brother Dennis embarked on a journey to tell their story about the abuse they and their siblings suffered at the hands of their stepfather when they were growing up. Author Karen Emilson subsequently published a book Where Children Run (Perpetual Press, 1996) documenting the experiences of the two boys. In 2000, he spent the summer walking from Banff, Alberta to Steep Rock to raise funds for safety net programs, along the way meeting with numerous people who shared a common bond. For the next eight years, he travelled throughout the province speaking on the topic of child abuse at various forums.

He volunteered with community projects at Steep Rock and was a jack-of-all-trades, single-handedly constructing his log home. He also enjoyed driving his motorcyle and travelling south during the winter months.

He died at Steep Rock and was buried in the Faulkner Cemetery.


Child abuse trek over for Pischke,” CBC News online, 7 August 2000.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 June 2004.

David Edward Pischke, Macsween Family tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 21 December 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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