It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Mayer Rabkin, our much loved husband, father, grandfather and friend.
He is survived by his wife Mavis, children, Tammy, Jack (Linda) and Debbie (Robert), grandchildren, Mark, Melissa, Mitchell and Aaron, sister Sarah Miller, nieces, nephews, and friends.
He was predeceased by his parents, Anna and Jacob Rabkin, sisters, Bessie (Alf) Baron, Stella (Morton) Kornblum, and in-laws, Malka and Mendel Chaikin.
A learned, gentle, generous and humble man, he was born, raised and lived most of his life in Portage la Prairie. He was a graduate of the Portage Collegiate Institute and the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Agriculture.
Mayer volunteered for service in the RCAF during the Second World War. Upon his return to U of M following four years of military service, he met and married his life partner, Mavis Chaikin. They were together for almost 70 years, making their home in Portage where they raised their three children and operated Rabkin's Department Store until retirement.
He was a community-minded gentleman who was immersed in all aspects of community life including the Portage Golf Club, Rotary Club, Masonic Order, and B'nai B'rith. He served on the boards of Children's Aid Society of Central Manitoba, Home and School Association, Chamber of Commerce, and the Portage Synagogue.
Besides his family and community, his greatest passion was classical music. He began playing the trumpet in the Portage School and Community orchestras. Mavis and Mayer were longtime patrons of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Upon retirement, he and Mavis moved to Winnipeg to be near their children. They enjoyed a happy retirement, spending time with family and friends, playing bridge, golf, and travelling to Palm Springs each winter.
Funeral services were held July 27, 2017 at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, officiated by Rabbi Matthew Leibl. Pallbearers were grandsons, Aaron Witzke, Mark Rabkin, and Mitchell Rabkin, nephew Marc Baron, daughter-in-law Linda Rabkin, and son-in-law Robert Witzke.
Heartfelt thanks to: Dr. Perry Gall, family physician, for his respectful and compassionate care; Danielle Hall, home care coordinator, for her patience and dedication; and Lisa Beck and Janet Rowe, home care, who Mayer called his angels. Family also extends thanks to Drs. George and Joshua and their team on 3 South at Grace General Hospital.
If desired, donations in his memory may be made to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, 204-949-3989.