Memorable Manitobans: Helen Estelle Katz Steinkopf (1918-2005)
Born at Chicago, Illinois on 17 November 1918, and raised there, she practised nursing before moving to Winnipeg in 1947 when she married Maitland Bernard Steinkopf with whom she went on to have five daughters and a son, including Justine Estelle Steinkopf (1950-2020).
She was a tireless leader in efforts to better the lives of others, especially intellectually handicapped children and adults, acting as a voice for many unable to speak for themselves. She believed in opportunities for inclusion in childcare, school, work, recreation, and sports. Her focus was the establishment of group homes in mainstream communities. As part of her commitment, she was instrumental in the founding of the Manitoba Marathon, which has raised millions of dollars for group homes since its inception in 1979. In later years, she focused on Continuity Care to help families plan a safer and more secure future for relatives with disabilities.
She enjoyed nature and spent her summers in Riding Mountain National Park conferring with the naturalists and riding the trails on her horses, Captain and Patchy. She enjoyed winter and was just as comfortable sleeping outside in a snow quinzee as she was in her own bed. She was also an avid traveller, exploring most continents and many countries.
She died on 23 May 2005. The Manitoba Marathon Foundation created a memorial fund in her name for providing opportunities for people living with intellectual disabilities.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 28 May 2005.
Obituary [Justine Estelle Steinkopf], Winnipeg Free Press, 3 December 2020.
“Helen Steinkopf Memorial Funds,” Manitoba Marathon.
This page was prepared by Lois Braun.
Page revised: 9 September 2022