LINNEY, Elinor Rosanna (P.Eng)
July 4, 1927 – May 2, 2020
An amazing mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and a true trailblazer for women in engineering in Canada has left us. Elinor Rosanna Linney (Watson) was born July 4, 1927 in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and passed away May 2nd, 2020 at the Garry J Armstrong long term care home in Ottawa. She was 92.
She was pre-deceased by her husband John, her brother Stewart (Watson), and son-in-law Ron (Mader). She is also pre-deceased by her mother Marion (Doane) and father Norman (Watson). She is survived by her children Norma (Halifax N.S. and Robert (Karen)(Dunvegan ON), five grandchildren, (Sarah Linney, Elizabeth Mader (David Wrighton), Charles Mader (Deanne), Theresa Ayre (Tom ), and Patricia Mader) four step grand-children (Kimberley Thibeault, Kyle Lisacek, Lea Lisacek and Tyler Lisacek) and three great grandchildren (Elliott and Evelyn Mader and McCrae Ayre)..
Elinor grew up in St. Lambert, Quebec, attending local schools. She was the second woman to be admitted to an Engineering program at McGill University, and the first woman to be accepted into McGill’s Electrical Engineering program. Graduating in 1948, she became the first woman to be licensed as a professional engineer in the province of Quebec. She wore her iron ring with pride. After graduation she found it impossible to find work as an engineer who happened to be female, so she went to work for Bell Canada as a switchboard operator. She was offered her first engineering position by Shawinigan Engineering of Montreal in 1955, only to discover she was not permitted to visit the projects she was designing because there were no facilities on site for women. She lobbied for years to have that changed. After being transferred to Calgary in 1974, Elinor became extremely active in the Instrument Society of America (ISA). She served as Vice-President of ISA District 10 (Western North America) from 1980- 82. Through the Business and Professional Women’s Club she mentored other professional women. In the fall of 1990, after a 35 year career in professional engineering, Elinor retired from SNC Lavalin (Calgary) and returned to Eastern Canada (Ottawa).
Elinor was an active supporter of St Barnabas Anglican Church in St. Lambert, and St. John’s Anglican Church in Ottawa.. Her love of music, gardening, sewing, and knitting meant hours of entertainment and song, fresh vegetables and flowers, and unique sweaters, socks and mittens for her children and grandchildren every Christmas.
In memory of Elinor, please consider a donation to the Heart Institute. The family would like to thank the amazing staff of the 4th Floor of the Garry J Armstrong for their care. Private family arrangements by Hulse, Playfair & McGarry Ottawa. Internment was at Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal.