November 05, 1941 – May 21, 2017
Miriam Fleisher, 76, peacefully passed away on Sunday, May 21, 2017, corresponding to the 25th of Iyyar, 5777, in the comfort of her own home.
She is survived by her brother William, sister-in-law Doreen, nephews, Ryan, Gideon, Zach and Ben, and nieces Dara and Raisa. Miriam lived a full and fruitful life as an independent woman, till the very end. She was predeceased by her father Samuel (Simcha), mother Regina (Rivke) and brother Frank.
Miriam was fortunate to survive the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust, thanks to the ingenuity of her parents, who placed her in a Catholic convent. After her parents were separated and miraculously survived the atrocities surrounding them, they somehow were reunited and returned to gather their daughter. Miriam, who had in her first few years been raised Catholic, recalled she was not initially pleased to learn her fate or faith. She was returned to her parents on the condition that she be raised Catholic, an agreement that soon fell by the wayside, as she and her newly born brother Frank came with their parents as refugees to Canada and started a new life. Her brother William was soon to follow and the family entered the wholesale cattle and meat business. She graduated high school, took some post secondary education at the University of Manitoba and soon moved to Toronto for work.
Miriam subsequently moved on to California, working in real estate, property management and at IBM. She was a trailblazer for women in the workforce, and built a full life on the west coast. She kept in touch with many of her friends from that period of her until her death.
Miriam was truly the life of the party, and a social force with which to be reckoned. Her penchant to find trouble and mischief made for a great many tales. When asked at a cocktail party in California by Ronald Reagan, the future American president, if he had her support in the upcoming election, she remarked that she wasn’t an American citizen, but if she was, there was no way she would vote for him. Suffice it to say, her friend at the Associated Press didn’t invite her to many more such parties. While many of us today have become increasingly sensitized and filtered, Miriam was not afraid to speak her mind.
Because of her financial success and close attention paid to the market, Miriam was able to retire in her late 40’s, returning to Winnipeg to care for her mother, who was alone after her husband’s passing. She cared meticulously for her mother while at the same time taking on new responsibilities with nieces, nephews and extended family.
Her love of the arts, cinema and theatre knew no bounds. She read voraciously; history, politics, fiction, nonfiction and her favourite newsmagazines. She strove to stay current in politics and world events, and enjoyed her connections with the Chavurat Tefilah and the Jewish Reading Circle.
While she appeared to be a larger than life persona, Miriam was also a very private individual, one who was able to speak volumes without really letting you in to the struggles that she faced. She emanated warmth and left an impression on everyone she encountered.
Her family is comforted in knowing that her memory and dedication will continue to inspire us for years to come.
She was laid to rest at the B’nai Abraham Cemetery on Tuesday May 23. Donations in Miriam’s honour may be made to the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre ( http://gwensecter.com/donations/ ) or to a charity of one’s choice.