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Memorable Manitobans: Erika “Katy” Simons (1911-2005)

Community activist.

Born in Amsterdam, Holland on 13 February 1911, the daughter of a Jewish father and Mennonite mother, during the Second World War, she and other family members risked their lives to save Jews from the Holocaust for which, in 2002, she was awarded the Righteous Amongst the Nations Award from the Israeli government. After the war, she trained as a nurse in England and came to Manitoba in 1961 to work at the Ninette Sanatorium where she introduced unconventional treatments such as bringing a cat into the wards. In her 60s, she enrolled at University of Winnipeg to pursue a lifelong dream of a university education. She was a vigorous member of many groups, including the Unitarian Church, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, and the Humanist Association of Manitoba. She advocated strongly for peace and social justice. On her two crutches, she participated in the March for Peace every year. She died at Winnipeg on 16 February 2005.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 March 2005.

We thank Daniel Stone for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 November 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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