Erik Harald WADELIUS (1913-2000)

Erik was born on the Island of Frösö, Jämtland, Sweden on 15 July 1913 to Arvid Wilhelm Wadelius (1888-1970) and Anna Signe Elisabet Storm (1890-1969). He came to Canada with his family in 1914 when they moved to Winnipeg.

Erik attended East Kildonan Collegiate and was an accomplished violinist in his youth. He was first violinist with the Winnipeg Orchestra and performed on noon hour radio music programs in the early 1930’s. During the depression years, he joined a dance band, the “Vagabonds”, traveling throughout rural Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

In 1939 at The Pas, he married Olive LaFontaine (1917-2015) and they had three children: Vaughn, Leif-Erik, and Lance.

Businessman, Administrator & Community Activist

In 1937, Erik was offered a job with Sherritt Gordon Mines in Sherridon, Manitoba, eventually becoming a flotation operator. In 1946, Erik and his brother, Sten, started Wadelius Painting & Decorating in The Pas. In 1958, he became a Business Manager for St. Anthony’s General Hospital and in 1967, he joined Manitoba Health and Social Development as the Regional Administrator, retiring in August 1978.

He was a member of the B.P.O. Elks, becoming the exalted Ruler in 1952, Northern District Grand Exalted Ruler in 1954 and was elected President of the Manitoba Elks Association in 1955. Erik originated the resolution to create the Elks Purple Cross Fund, now called the Elks and Royal Purple Charity for Children. He was involved in other groups and organizations in The Pas; he was a board member of the Manitoba Trappers’ Festival, he helped initiate Pony League Baseball, he helped develop the Agricultural Fair Grounds west of The Pas, he chaired the 50th Anniversary Committee of the Town of The Pas in 1962 and he participated in the development of The Pas Valhalla Cooperative seniors’ residence. In 1991, Erik was given a Citizenship Award by the Town of The Pas in recognition of his many years of community service.

Erik’s love of music remained with him all his life and he participated in many musical productions in The Pas, where for many years he led the Men’s Community Choir and played bass fiddle, drums and violin with Vickery’s Orchestra.

He died on 18 November 2000 and he was buried in the Lakeside Cemetery at The Pas.


  • Marriage Registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
  • Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 25 November 2000, page C13.
  • Community Builders: The Organisations, Groups and Fraternities of The Pas – Sam Waller Museum.
  • Obituary [Anne Signe Wadelius], The Pas Herald, 10 Dec 1969, page 8.
  • Obituary [Olive Wadelius], Hemauer Funeral Home and Cremation Services, posted online


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