Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Idella Jane “Della” Setter (1937-2004)

Educator, librarian.

Born at Boissevain on 19 September 1937, daughter of Lenore Gertrude Baker and Robert Camston Aitkens, she attended Balmoral Hall School and St. John’s College at Winnipeg. After graduating with a BA in English and Library Science, she pursued a career in education. She began at Balmoral Hall, where she taught for three years before moving with her family to Morden. There, she was involved in setting up the first regional library in south-central Manitoba.

In 1969, the family returned to Winnipeg and she was hired as the first full-time elementary school librarian for Winnipeg School Division. During her teaching career, she also worked as library consultant and as the supervisor of libraries for the Manitoba Department of Education. She completed her career in education as the chief librarian at Daniel Macintyre Collegiate.

After retiring to Sechelt, British Columbia in 1996, she continued to promote education through her work with the Canadian Federation of University Women, primarily by heading its Bursary Society, with a mandate of assisting women in their pursuit of a university education.

She was married to James Ernest Setter with whom she had three children.

Shortly after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, she participated in her own memorial service attended by family and friends. She died at Sechelt on 7 May 2004 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 May 2004.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 9 February 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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