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Wankel, Dornan Family
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Dornan, Charles Denis [ca. 1940]-current
Dornan, Edward Patrick 1902-1962
Dornan, Mary Wankel 1904-1998
Wankel, Charles 1902-1970
Wankel, Emil 1867-1948
Wankel, Margaret Kellet 1872-1947
Mary Kathleen Cecilia Wankel, often known as ‘May’, ‘Mayme’ or ‘Mamie’, was born to Emil and Margaret Wankel on 2 May 1904, in Oak River, Manitoba. Mary had an older brother, Charles, whom the family called Charlie. Emil Wankel had a small hardware store in Oak River with partner J.J. Barr.
In 1909 the Wankel family moved south from Manitoba to the States, settling in Spokane, Washington, where Emil tried to have an apple orchard business. However within a year, he decided the apple orchard business was not for him. Emil had kept in touch with his former partner, J.J. Barr, who had recently moved to Strathcona, Alberta, and acquired the Ross Block on Whyte Avenue with the intention of establishing a hardware store.
In 1910, Emil moved the family to Strathcona, reunited with his partner and operated the Wankel and Barr Hardware Store. The family lived in a few different homes in Edmonton, but in 1912 a new home was constructed for the Wankels in Strathcona. The Bard and Carrigan families also lived in the neighbourhood. The Wankel home was in walking distance to St. Anthony's School at 76 Avenue and 106 Street.
Mary attended St. Anthony's School for grades three to eight. Then she went to the Third Street Separate High School for grades nine to 11. Mary also studied music, receiving first class honours in Piano at her Toronto Conservatory exams and was invited to continue studies in Toronto.
After grade 11, Mary went to the Normal School (teacher's college) and received her music teaching certificate in 1920. Mary began her teaching career in Vegreville, Alberta, returning to Edmonton a few years later, teaching at St. Anthony's School where she had been a student. A new brick school opened in 1925 and was later named Mount Carmel School.
Mary married Edward Patrick Dornan on 20 Apr 1933. They had three sons, Paul, Charles Dennis (Denny) and Gerald Edward (Gerry). She taught with the Edmonton Catholic Board for many years, was a dedicated member of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) and very involved with St. Anthony’s Church, including as the organist for 20 years. She was also very involved with the creation of a commemorative book for the 75th anniversary of St. Anthony's Church. Mary pursued many musical, artistic, and literary, and was a member of the Women's Musical Club of Edmonton. She was an active volunteer in many organizations, including the St. Joseph Hospital Auxiliary.
Mary was an avid writer and collector of family stories and community histories. Her work as a keeper of histories and stories culminated in a scrapbook-cum-manuscript covering predominantly the history of families in the Stratchona area and St. Anthony's Parish. She also created other scrapbooks pertaining to her Kellet, Wankel and Dornan families.
Dennis (Denny) Dornan was active in the Edmonton Junior Chamber of Commerce, including as Chairman of the Outstanding Citizen’s Committee. He cared for his widowed mother in her later years.
Edward Dornan died in 1962. Mary Wankel Dornan died 23 Mar 1998 and is buried at St. Anthony’s Catholic Cemetery in Edmonton.
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