Our beloved father and grandfather left us on Tuesday November 27, 2018 at 93 years.
Shom was predeceased by his loving wife Sheila (2008), his beloved son Kerry (2017), his parents Isaac and Rose, his brothers George and Pinny and his sister Sylvia. Shom is survived by his children Janis, Evan & Audra, and his granddaughters Lindsay and Jillian. Shom is also survived by his nieces and nephews, his companion Bobby, and a litany of friends.
Born and raised in Winnipeg’s north end, Dad attended Aberdeen School and St. John’s Tech before joining the Air Force in 1943 as a mechanic. Luckily, we won the war anyway. Following his service, Dad went to work. First as a cutter in the clothing industry, then embarking on his 37 year career in the insurance business. Dad managed a top sales team with London Life and made lifelong friends, which is no surprise as Dad made friends wherever he went.
Dad was an accomplished baseball player. A first baseman, Dad would describe himself as having a good glove. Asked to describe himself as a hitter, Dad would remind you of how good a fielder he was. He played, and later managed, in the 20th Century League for the Whirlaways. Proving that one should always be young at heart, Dad continued to play into his 80’s with a group of senior all-stars, and renewed his gym membership this past summer.
Mom and Dad married in 1951. They created a home filled with love and raised a family together against a backdrop of humour and music. Mom could sing, Dad could not. Mom performed on stage, Dad applauded. Dad performed in the insurance world, Mom supported. They each played to their strengths and, together, taught their children to do the same. Even through adversity, humour and a desire to lead the best life possible guided the journey. Dad offered wisdom and quietly led by example. Dad was an extremely proud father and, if possible, an even prouder zaida…or, as he was known: a proud Yaya.
For the last 9 plus years, Dad enjoyed his companionship with Bobby. They travelled together, enjoyed dining out with friends or a simple evening playing cards. They helped keep each other young and enjoyed their grandchildren together, extending the good life.
And it was a good life. If being a mensch, a fine person, is the goal, then Dad exceeded all expectations. Dad was an extremely warm, caring and charming man. Not only a gentleman, but a gentle man. It is rare to hear of a man of whom no one can say a bad word. Shom Roitenberg was such a man. Always humble, he never understood the impact that he had on those around him. Yet, impactful he was. If you served Dad in a restaurant, helped him at the bank, or even scanned his groceries, he left you with a smile on your face. And in everyone’s memory of Dad, there is a smile on his.
Funeral services were held November 29 at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue. Pallbearers were Ian Cramer, Jacob Cramer, Norman Yusim, Daniel Yusim, Jeff Hirsh and Michael Conner. Honorary pallbearer was Randy Cramer. A special thank you to Debby and Norm for always making Dad feel welcomed and loved. If desired, donations can be made to the ‘In Memory of Sheila and Kerry Roitenberg Fund’ at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, to the Luther Home Corp. of Winnipeg, or to a charity of your choosing.
Dad, Yaya in our hearts you will live forever. We will always love you.