Kathryn (Kay) Violet Condra
On February 16, Kay passed away at St. Boniface Hospital at the age of 87. She is survived by her three children, John Michael, Katie (Rob Macdonald) and Jill (Jim Hamm), and four grandchildren, Zoë, Olivia and Hazel Macdonald and Andrew Hamm. She will be lovingly remembered, especially by her many Robertson nieces and nephews and the amazing friends she had all over the world.
Kay was born in Winnipeg and grew up in the River Heights area, where she attended local schools Grosvenor, Robert H. Smith, and Kelvin, before attaining her Home Economics degree at the University of Manitoba. It was while attending the University that she met her husband of 52 years, John Condra. She acquired her teaching credentials and started her first Home Economics teaching job at Transcona Collegiate. Upon John’s graduation from law school in 1959, they sailed across the Atlantic and embarked on a two-month European sojourn in a rented “upholstered roller-skate” (i.e., a cute but rather powerless Citroën). In the 1960s they moved to Montreal, where she taught at the Town of Mount Royal High school, and then Toronto where she was a full-time mother to son Michael. In 1966 they chose to return to Winnipeg where Katie and Jill were born in quick succession and she devoted her time to her three children for the next ten years. At that time Kay and John owned and operated The House of Cheese on Spence Street in the late 1960s. Kay returned to teaching in the late 1970s and spent over 20 years at Balmoral Hall School where she taught cooking then English to many girls who will always know how to make baking powder biscuits and bring Shakespeare to life because of her! She loved teaching and was always so happy to hear the latest about her former students. She also adored her fellow teachers and continued to meet up frequently for lunch until recently.
Kay never thought of herself as a ‘joiner’ but she was in fact a huge part of so many organizations and groups including the Junior Leagues (followed by the Swans), Meals on Wheels, volunteering as a tutor/mentor at Gordon Bell School, Ladies of the Street Choir and, of course, The Book Club that began meeting in the 1970s and continue to have raucous lunches every third Thursday of the month (book talk optional). She was a proud supporter of local arts groups, including the Winnipeg Art Gallery, where she volunteered in the Art Rental department, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. There were many early-80s summer soirées following Ballet in the Park performances that were planned and presided over by Kay. In her seventies, after her tap-dancing classes ended, she joined a dance aerobics class instead and joyfully danced her heart out for many years and made many dear friends who kept her going strong and happy for as long as she was able.
Please contact the family for details on the funeral service.
Should friends so desire, a contribution in Kay’s memory may be made to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet or to the Winnipeg Art Gallery.