Lillian Bjarnason (Johannson)

Lillian Bjarnason died in the morning hours of May 18, 2008 at her home at Misericordia Place in Winnipeg. Lillian was born in 1919 on the farm Haga, in the Maryhill district near Lundar, Manitoba to Jon and Helga Johannson. Her first language was Icelandic. At 19 she married Hafsteinn Bjarnason from Wynyard, Saskatchewan. His first language was also Icelandic. It was love at first sight. They lived the first twenty years of their marriage in Winnipeg where their three children were born, Lillian Vilborg, John Jacob and Bernice Fay. In 1959 the family moved to Regina, Saskatchewan where Lillian and Hafsteinn’s house was always open to the many families that soon became part of their extended family, the coffee was always on and the door was always open. Lillian was surrogate amma to many children as well as her own six grandchildren. She was meticulous and reserved but laughed easily. She loved animals. The warm atmosphere she created in her home was welcoming and all the Icelanders that found themselves in Regina gathered there. Lillian and Hafsteinn moved to Whiterock, B.C. in 1987. She learned to love the ocean and walked to the water every day for 15 years, no small feat on the steep hills. She collected rocks and crow feathers. She was quiet and thoughtful.

Until Lillian became confused with Alzheimer’s she curled, golfed, played bridge and spun her own wool to knit and weave. Her spinning wheel is at the Lundar Museum.

She is pre-deceased by her husband Hafsteinn, siblings Sigrun Miller, Sigfus (Fusi), Olafia, Thorsteinn (Steini) and her daughter Lillian Vilborg. She will be remembered by her brother Joe, her children Bernice Lindal (Gord) and John (Roslyn), son-in-law Lorne MacPherson, grandchildren Arne (Deb), Erika (Jacki), Kris (Izabela), Lara (Clay), Holly (Chris), Corrie (Grant), great-grandchildren Gislina, Solmund, Zona, Eva, Chloe, Cassidy and Finley.

In the last two years of her life, Lillian’s companion Vivian Unger accompanied her with kindness, love and compassion. We know that Lillian’s life was enriched by this friendship, and our family is grateful for having met Vivian.

We would like to thank all of the staff at Misericordia Place for their care and kindness.

There will be no funeral service. Her ashes will be interred at the Lundar cemetery this summer.

Peace Arch News

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