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Memorable Manitobans: Abram Jacob Thiessen (1910-2002)

Businessman.

Born on a farm near Rosenfeld on 12 December 1910, son of Abram A. Thiessen and Susanna Braun, he was educated at Rosenfeld School and Steinbach School then began a transfer truck service in the Rosenfeld area in 1932, which became “Thiessen Transportation.” He later formed a partnership with George H. Fast, which operated for 25 years as “Fast and Thiessen” at Rosenfeld. The business also included a general store, and Chrysler and Massey-Harris dealerships. He was also an insurance agent representing the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company.

In 1946, he founded Thiessen Bus Lines, and later acquired such companies as Grey Goose Bus Lines, Western Flyer Coach, and Acme Sanitation Services. He had a farming operation in the Altona area and was the lead co-founder of radio station CFAM in 1957, serving as its first President. He served as Board member and Chairman of the Mennonite Collegiate Institute, Rosenfeld School District, and Gnadenfeld School. A school trustee from 1942 to 1961, he served as President of the Manitoba School Trustees Association and the Canadian School Trustees Association, of which he was made an honourary life member. He was a Progressive Conservative candidate in the 1953 federal general election and the 1962 provincial general election but was defeated each time.

He died at Winnipeg on 7 March 2002 and was buried in the Rosenfeld Cemetery.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 March 2002.

“They will never be forgotten,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2002, pages A8-A9.

We thank Amy Merrett for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 5 January 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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