Raised in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Shaune’s father, Haraldur, was her link to Iceland having been born and raised on a farm near Wynyard, Saskatchewan. Her mother Audrey, who was of British descent, was born in Elfros. Both communities were effectively settled by Icelandic immigrants.
Shaune had always been proud of her Icelandic heritage, and never hesitated to remind others. During a music festival in her early teens, an adjudicator read aloud her surname, JONASSON, and casually identified that she was Scandinavian, to which a somewhat indignant Shaune responded, “No, Icelandic”. While many in the room may have chuckled at the irony of her response, Shaune’s instinct was to see the uniqueness of her ancestry and ignited a desire to know their stories.
After retiring as a Major from the Canadian Armed Forces in 2011, Shaune found more opportunity to revive the family research that held her interest. In 2017, she and her sister, Norma, travelled to Iceland. It was an eye-opening trip learning about their roots and creating family bonds with second cousins. This is when Shaune became a member of Icelandic Roots. Ever since, Icelandic Roots has offered a plethora of information allowing her to explore and understand her ancestral stories. Having gleaned so much from IR over the years, Shaune decided that she should reciprocate, and became a member of the Outreach team in March 2023.
Shaune and her husband Mark have retired to a small community in the Thousand Islands near Kingston, Ontario. She has two sons, a daughter, and a stepdaughter. She is Amma to six grandchildren, many of whom are already embracing their Icelandic roots.