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Memorable Manitobans: May Edith Lunn Lazier Pitblado (c1871-1950)

Educator, community activist.

Born near Toronto, Ontario around 1871, daughter of Edward Lunn and sister of Hattie Lunn, she came to Winnipeg with her family in her youth. She graduated from the Winnipeg Collegiate Institute and applied for a teaching position with the Winnipeg School Board around January 1888. She taught at Pinkham School (1888-1890) prior to serving as the Principal of Pembina Street School (1890-1893) and Dufferin School (1893-1898).

Her career as one of Winnipeg’s first female principals concluded with her first marriage to Frank Austin Lazier (?-?) at the Central Congregational Church in Winnipeg on 14 September 1898. After honeymooning at St. Paul, Minnesota, the couple took up residence at Kansas City, Missouri, moving to Minneapolis a few years later. On 9 July 1907, she re-married to lawyer Isaac Pitblado at the 20 North 15th Street residence of Mrs. W. A. Mathers in Minneapolis. Following a four-month honeymoon in Europe, the couple resided on Balmoral Place in Winnipeg. This marriage produced a child, Edith Anna Pitblado (1910-1989, wife of Howard Clement Spence).

She was active in women’s organizations and was a founder and board member of the Kindergarten Settlement Association, which oversaw operation of the Ellen Street Kindergarten. She also served on the board of the Children’s Aid Society and belonged to the Westminster United Church.

She died at her Winnipeg home, Suite 3B Wellington Apartments, on 8 November 1950 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.

Sources:

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Honor list,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 March 1886, page 4.

“School board,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 February 1888, page 4.

“The school board,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 December 1890, page 5.

“Lazier - Lunn,” Manitoba Free Press, 15 September 1898, page 6.

“September statistics,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 October 1898, page 6.

“At the Hotels [Royal Alexandra: M.E. Lazier, Minneapolis],” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 May 1907, page 8.

“Pitblado - Lazier nuptials,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 July 1907, page 7.

“Pitblado - Lazier nuptials,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 July 1907, page 20.

“Pitblado - Lazier nuptials,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 July 1907, page 35.

“Pretty wedding at Minneapolis,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 July 1910, page 18.

“Mrs. Isaac Pitblado, 79, Teacher, Principal dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 November 1950, page 12.

“Mrs. Pitblado dies after long illness,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 November 1950. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 158]

“Mrs. Pitblado rites Friday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 November 1950, page 13.

Obituary [William Oliver Bovard], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 April 1965, page 31.

Obituary [John Pitblado Bovard], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 April 1986, page 32.

Death registrations [Almira Campbell Pitblado Bovard], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Edith Anna Spence], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 June 1989, page 41.

This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 14 November 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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