John G. Diefenbaker Gallery

a virtual exhibition from the Diefenbaker Center Canada

Firm Foundations

Firm Foundations

John George Diefenbaker was born on 18 September 1895 in Neustadt, Ontario. In 1903 he, his younger brother Elmer and their parents William and Mary, moved to a homestead near Borden, Saskatchewan. In 1910 the family relocated to Saskatoon where Diefenbaker graduated from Nutana Collegiate.

Diefenbaker’s admiration for his parents was undeniable. He attributed his quest for knowledge to his father and his unrelenting determination to his mother.

In June of 1929, Diefenbaker married Edna Mae Brower, a teacher. During his early political career, Edna was her husband's strongest and most dedicated supporter. She died of leukemia in 1951 and is interred in the Diefenbaker family plot at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Saskatoon.

In 1953 Olive Freeman Palmer became Diefenbaker's second wife. Although the couple never had any children, they raised Carolyn, Olive's daughter from her previous marriage.


Elmer and John Diefenbaker
Elmer and John Diefenbaker
Edna Mae Brower
Edna Mae Brower
Olive Freeman Palmer
Olive Freeman Palmer

Next