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Born: Nov 09, 1916

Date of Passing: Jan 14, 2021

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November 9, 1916 - January 14, 2021

Herdis died peacefully on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at the Charleswood Care Centre in Winnipeg at the age of 104.
Herdis grew up in the tiny hamlet of Vestfold, Manitoba, near Lundar. In those days on the family farm, there was no electricity or running water, and the family was isolated, especially in the long Manitoba winters. On the plus side, Herdis and her five siblings dealt with the isolation by developing an impressive portfolio of skills. Herdis could play the accordion and piano, and became an expert at cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, and crocheting, not to mention carpentry. She also became a wonderful painter, and the family still has many of her paintings hanging proudly in our homes.
She met Charlie Maddin at a dance at the Norwood Hotel in 1938. It turned out that they were both accomplished dancers, and it was not long before they were winning jitterbug and swing competitions, dancing to the music of Glenn Miller and the other big band names of that era. They were married on October 23, 1940 and had four children: Ross, Cameron, Janet, and Guy. All four of her children were accomplished in their academic work, in athletics, and in their artistic endeavours.
Herdis was a co-owner of Lil's Beauty Shop at Ellice Avenue and Arlington Street in Winnipeg, along with her sister, Lillian. During this period, she won many awards for her hairstyling, and formed lifelong friendships with her clients.
She suffered greatly from the death of her son Cameron, in 1963, and then lost Charlie in 1977.
Starting in 1978, she became a grandmother to six grandchildren and, in the Icelandic tradition, became known by them as Amma. She loved them all, and we gathered each summer at her cottage at Loni Beach in Gimli, Manitoba on Lake Winnipeg.
Herdis was a proud Icelandic-Canadian and became legendary in Gimli for her mastery of Icelandic delicacies such as Vinarterta and Icelandic donuts called Kleinur. She hosted marvelous dinners for her family and knitted and sewed countless garments for her grandchildren, each of whom she called Elskan ("sweetheart" in Icelandic).
She volunteered for many years at the First Lutheran Church in a group called Dorcas, so named for their charitable works for the poor. Herdis produced food, crafts, and knitted garments and raised considerable amounts of money for the Church.
Herdis was predeceased by her parents, Sigurdur Eyolfson and Kristin Anna Danielsdottir; her husband Charles, her son Cameron; and her siblings, Allan, Lillian, Herbert, Ronald, and Lawrence. She is survived, and will be lovingly missed by, her children, Ross Maddin (Jennifer) of Toronto, Janet Neale (Allan) of Victoria, and Guy Maddin of Winnipeg, her six grandchildren, and her 11 great-grandchildren.
The family will be forever grateful to the staff at the Charleswood Care Centre for their compassion, kindness, and care during her stay there.
There will be a Celebration of Life later when we can all get together in Winnipeg.


As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 23, 2021

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • Oh dear ... I am so sorry, but what a wonderful life your mother had, and terrific legacy she left. I grew up on Home Street, just south of St Matthews, and my mom, Grace, and Grandmother, "Mrs Fogg", were regular clients of Herdis and Lil ... and I remember very well my times in her chair, getting my haircut ... and waiting on the bench, drawing on the magnetic board, while Mom and Gramma were getting their hair done. And every Christmas I would take packages of Mom's nuts 'n' bolts, and Gramma's baking, up to Herdis and Lil ... Whenever I drive past the little shop on Ellice, your Mom and Aunt are remembered. - Posted by: Elizabeth Bonnett (friend) on: Jan 23, 2021

  • My condolences Guy on the loss of your mother. While she lived a long life, the loss of a mother is still deeply felt. - Posted by: Al Shell (Friend) on: Jan 23, 2021

  • We are so sorry to learn of your mother's passing. She and our mother, Christina Davies, were dear friends for 80 years. It was wonderful when fate placed them close together at Charleswood Care in 2014 until our mom passed away in June of 2019. Your mother was an amazing person! Sending our deepest condolences, Bronwyn Nairne and Dyllys Buley - Posted by: Bronwyn Nairne and Dyllys Buley (admirers) on: Jan 23, 2021

  • To Guy, Janet and Ross. We are so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother Herdis. Karen and Joyce send heartfelt condolences to you and your families. When we think of Loni Beach it invokes loving memories of our many years spent as your neighbours and our close interactions with the Maddin Family, which always included your parents Herdis and Charlie at the helm. All of our children join us in sending condolences to all of you. - Posted by: Wolinsky, Rothman, Pesochin families (Neighbour in Loni Beach) on: Jan 23, 2021

  • I am very sorry for your loss. Although I did not know your mother Guy gave me some old glass Naybob coffee jars when I owned Amma's Tearoom in Gimli. When I sold the tearoom I kept the jars. They are in my pantry and I think of you Mom fondly when I use them. - Posted by: Barbara Foreman (Gimli resident) on: Jan 23, 2021

  • Guy, I never met your Mom but loved the wonderful stories that you told me of her when we were travelling to South America. She was very important to your life and will be so missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this so sad time. - Posted by: Marlene James (Friend) on: Jan 23, 2021

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