Conant, Verna Rowena (Smith) (1888-1992)

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Conant, Verna Rowena (Smith) (1888-1992)

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April 23, 1888-May, 1992

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Verna Rowena Conant (née Smith) was born on April 23, 1888, the daughter of Ernest Disraeli Smith and Christina Ann Smith (1861-1932). Her mother was the first President of the Women Institute of Canada in Winona Division, Ontario. She has one brother, Brigadier Armand Armstrong Smith. Verna Rowena Smith studied at Toronto's Havergal College and then lived in Ottawa where her father served as an MP. She met her future husband at her coming out party in 1911 at Hederleigh, the family House, in Grimsby, Ontario. She married Gordon Daniel Conant (1895-1953) on June 25, 1913, in Wentworth County, Ontario. Gordon Daniel Conant was a lawyer from Oshawa, future Mayor of Oshawa, attorney general of Ontario and Premier of Ontario from October 6, 1937 to June 30, 1943. While raising her family, Verna Rowena Conant became active in her community and organizations. She became Honorary president of the Oshawa General Hospital of the women's auxiliary, the Women's Institute, the Oshawa Historical Society and the Girl Guides. She played an important role with the St. John Ambulance and received the title of Dame of the Order of St. John. Verna Rowena Conant and her husband had 3 children; Geneviève, Douglas and Roger. Verna Rowena Conant died in Oshawa in May 1992 and is buried in Oshawa Union Cemetery.

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