Memorable Manitobans: Marianne Cathy Sohor Primeau (1957-2004)
Born at Winnipeg on 4 April 1957, daughter of Mary Anderson (1928-1998) and Steven Sohor, she grew up in the Garden City area and graduated from Garden City Collegiate, excelling scholastically and athletically. She married lawyer Donald Arthur Primeau (1944-2010) at Winnipeg and they had a daughter. She worked as office manager for Prairie Fireplaces Limited for several years before breast cancer necessitated retirement.
She participated in numerous breast cancer groups, activities, and studies, and was a founding member of the Chemo Savvy Dragon Boat Team in 1998, serving a two-year term as the team’s first chairperson. She was instrumental in its incorporation and in obtaining its grant of charitable status. When she could no longer paddle due to her failing health, she became one of the team’s drummers, which led her to take Japanese drumming lessons with Fubuki Daiko and subsequently win the Drumming Championship at the 2003 Manitoba Dragon Boat Festival.
Her experiences with cancer were included in the book How to Ride a Dragon: Women with Breast Cancer Tell Their Stories (Key Porter Books, 2002). It was sold as a fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Initiative and has become a valued resource for women and their families. She also volunteered as a model at the Guardian Angel Breast Cancer Benefit and other similar events. She volunteered at the Breast Cancer Centre of Hope where she helped in the office, planted the Garden of Hope, and provided support counselling for recently diagnosed women.
She acted in the play Handle with Care which was performed in conjunction with the 2002 Together Conference. She also enjoyed gardening, travelling with her family, and spending time at their cottage at Falcon Lake.
She died at Winnipeg on 25 July 2004.
Obituary [Mary Sohor], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 April 1998, page 146.
This page was prepared by Lois Braun.
Page revised: 28 December 2020