Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Marshall John Claude Straker (1922-2004)

Building inspector, community activist.

Born at Bristol, England on 16 January 1922, son of James Thomas Marshall Amory Straker (1891-1956) and Winnifred May Lyons (1895-?), he came to Canada under the air training plan in 1942, and later worked as a gunnery instructor at Mont-Joli, Quebec and Picton, Ontario. He returned to England in 1944 as a rear air gunner in the Wellington Bombers for the Royal Air Force. He married Kathleen Jean Pearson at Winnipeg in 1944 and they went on to have five children. Interested in the construction trades, he worked for Comstock Canada before joining the inspection branch of the City of Winnipeg in 1961, and retiring in 1984 as Chief Inspector of Existing Buildings.

In the 1950s, he became involved with the sport of soccer by coaching and refereeing at Orioles Community Club. He served as President of the Manitoba Minor Soccer Association and was a founding member of the Canadian Minor Soccer Association, where he also served as President for two years. He served on the executives of the Manitoba and Canadian Soccer Associations. He was involved with soccer during the 1967 Pan Am Games and, in 1969, was a member of the Chef de Mission for the inaugural Canada Summer Games. For his contributions to the sport, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and the Canada Soccer Award of Merit (1991).

He died at Winnipeg on 10 August 2004 and was buried in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.

Sources:

“Weddings–Straker Pearson,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 March 1944.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 August 2004.

“James Straker,” MyHeritage Family Trees.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 18 February 2021

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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