Memorable Manitobans: Margaret Chown Morse (1925-2021)
Born at Winnipeg on 28 August 1925, daughter of Stanley Gordon Chown and Penelope ? (1890-1981), she played a central role in the founding of speech therapy in Manitoba. As a Nursery School Assistant in the Cerebral Palsy Clinic at the old Children’s Hospital, in 1951 Dr. Wallace Grant, the Superintendent ofthe Hospital, asked her to go to Kent State University to take post-graduate studies in Speech Pathology. The Kinsmen Club and the provincial government provided financial assistance, and in return she contracted to come back to the Children’s Hospital and establish a Speech and Hearing Clinic.
Her return to Manitoba put the treatment of children in our province with speech difficulties on a professional basis. Over a career of 35 years, she persuaded five other hospitals, one by one, to establish speech therapy services, and contributed some of her own working time to these hospitals. She retired from the last of these, the Victoria General Hospital, in 1995, having seen, and provided the impetus for, great improvements in the treatment of children and adults with communications disorders in our province.
On 6 June 1952, she married pediatrician Lyle Turner McDonald (1925-2013) and they had three sons before divorcing. In 1983, she married Peter Scott Morse. As a life-long member of All Saints’ Anglican Church, she was active in most of its activities and organizations. She worked with fundraising and development for the School of Medicine, and with fundraising for St. John’s College. She was a long-time and valued member of the Volunteer Committee of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, of the Women’s Musical Club, and of the Foundation to promote the artistic legacy of the composer, Sonia Eckhart-Gramatté. She worked with refugees, immigrant groups, and in seniors’ programmes.
For her work in speech pathology, she was inducted into the Order of Manitoba (2020) and identified as a Manitoba Women Trailblazers (2021). In recognition of her contributions to the Manitoba Historical Society, she received its Douglas Kemp Award (2007).
She died at Winnipeg on 19 April 2021.
Obituary [Lyle Turner McDonald], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 July 2013.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 24 April 2021.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 9 January 2022