It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved father Arthur Mervin Werier on August 21, 2020, at the age of 82.
He was predeceased by his parents Abe and Bessie Werier and is survived by his sister Carla, son Kyle (Wendy), daughter Stacy (Jason), niece Audrey, nephew Alan and his cherished grandchildren, Vance, Levi, Annika and Brittany.
Born in Winnipeg’s north end in 1938, dad had a wonderful, happy childhood. He often recalled fond memories from his time at Peretz school, fishing and camping trips with his dad, summers at Winnipeg Beach where he was a lifeguard, and going to the movies with his sister at the College Theatre. He played every sport from swimming to tennis, joined every club and formed many of his lifelong friendships during these early years.
In his teens, when the family moved to River Heights, dad was enrolled at Kelvin High where he continued to build strong bonds through this involvement with BBYO, AZA and many school clubs. He was President of the Toppers and while pursuing Law at the University of Manitoba, he was President of his fraternity, the Sammy’s (Sigma Alpha MU).
Dad was a perfectionist. He never started anything he didn’t intend to finish to the last minute detail. Throughout his law career, he never lost a single case, and when asked how, he said, “I didn’t take it on unless I knew I could win.” After retiring from law, he went on to work in property management for many years and ran his business with strong ethics and a kind heart. In business and life, he was tough, but he was always fair.
He taught us so much about how to be good humans. He showed us what integrity looks like, how to be a mensch and what it means to have a social conscience, how to be pragmatic, how to make good decisions, how to live without regret and, most importantly, that life is too short to be unhappy. He always said, “happiness is a choice and you can choose to be happy or you can choose to be miserable, but the only one you’re hurting is yourself.”
Dad loved music, movies, dancing, sports, waterfalls, literature, grammar, puzzles, popcorn, a good debate and his beloved Bombers. He prided himself on a flawless record of never missing a game in 60 years until he got too sick to go. He travelled the world, saw almost every musical, was a wonderful singer and was famous for his one-liners. He played tennis, racquetball, curled, bowled, was an avid golfer, and of course, a world-class table tennis player. He first played for UM from 1957-60 and then went on to play competitively, capturing numerous Canadian and international titles.
Heavily involved in developing table tennis in Manitoba, Dad grew the local association to over 45 teams, making it the largest league in North America at the time. He developed two Canadian Junior Champions, was a coach, trainer and official at the 1967 Paraplegic Pan Am Games and 1971 Canada Winter Games. He participated in four worlds and three Commonwealth Championships. He served on the Manitoba Table Tennis Association (MTTA) executive for 22 years, ten of them as President, and was Vice-President of the CTTA for a decade. Internationally, he was Vice-President of the International Table Tennis Federation and on the executive of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships. One of the founders of the Manitoba Sports Federation, he was the Chair from 1973-75 and in 2017 was inducted into the MB Sports Hall of Fame.
Competitive as he was at sports, Dad was the complete opposite in life. He didn’t approach life to win or compete. He valued relationships over things and chose to put his energy into people over possessions. He valued truth, honesty and the human connection.
He was never sick a day in his life until he was struck ten years ago with one life-threatening illness after the other. He fought a courageous battle and faced every day with dignity, strength and grace.
The last month was harrowing. As happens with any terminal illness, one vacillates between hoping for the suffering to end and negotiating with god for a recovery. But every minute; every second with him, whether he knew we were there or not, was priceless. He wasn’t just our father, he was our heart, the rock that we stood on, our compass through life, our advisor, confidant and our guiding light. He was deeply loved, and he will be deeply missed.
As his sister Carla said at his funeral, he is now in heaven with his parents, catching them up on the news of the last fifty years and he hasn’t stopped talking since he got there.
The family thanks his nurses Kate, Jean, Jamie and the doctors on A3 at HSC. A very special thank you to his amazing caregivers Jonny and Hailu who gave him love, strength and respect.
Donations can be made to Cancer Care Manitoba or the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba.
CLARICE DANZKER (née YAREN) December 29, 1924 -January 9, 2024
After a life well-lived, the family of Clarice Danzker announces her passing on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at the age of 99.
Clarice was born in Winnipeg to Nessie and Abraham Yaren, exactly 3 years to the day after her future husband, Ernie. She was the youngest of five children. She grew up in Winnipeg’s North End during the depression, and always described her childhood as happy. Her passing marks the end of an entire era as the last of her generation on both sides of the Danzker and Yaren families. She is survived by her children, Simmie (Larry) Nasberg, Lainey Danzker (Michael Werier), her grandchildren Steven Werier (Kimi Wertman), Alissa Nasberg, Nessa Werier(Jason Lichtman ), Benji Nasberg, her great-grandchildren Jacob, Sofie and Ozzie. She was pre-deceased by her husband Ernie, her siblings Lil Popeski, Jack Yaren, Harry Yaren, Sima Yaren and many in-laws, nieces & nephews.
Clarice and Ernie met on a blind date over a game of bridge. They were married in the great flood of 1950 and as the story goes, they relocated their wedding from the Alexandra Hotel to a relative’s home, which they accessed by boat. This elegant lovely woman, together with Ernie, the gregarious man who was her inseparable partner for over 60 years of marriage, built and sustained a family full of happiness, empathy, and love at which they were the constant center. Their home was characterized by singsongs, guitar, laughter and people on every possible occasion.
In the way she lived, Clarice taught those around her invaluable lessons. She was the eternal optimist, always finding something to be happy about. Nothing gave her more joy in her last years than spending time with her great-grandchildren. She was open-minded, progressive, fair, insightful, and dedicated. She treated everyone with respect & had a kind word for all. She was a person of strong convictions. She lived by the philosophy of healthy mind and healthy body, and she remained active in both throughout her 99 years.
Clarice was involved in many organizations, National Council of Jewish Women, the Shaarey Zedek sisterhood, school organizations, camp organizations, and the arts, which she loved – the symphony, the ballet, the art gallery, the theater.
Clarice & Ernie & their family shared amazing times at Winnipeg Beach, Naples, Florida and over 30 winters in Rancho Mirage, California, honing their golf skills and mastering their bridge games. They made lifelong friends everywhere they went.
Clarice always said “your visits made my day”, but it was she who made ours magical.
The family would like to thank Tess, Baby, Maybelle, and Letty for their dignified care these last months and Dr. Kristen Creek for her exceptional and compassionate care.
Funeral services were held on January 11, 2024
Donations in Clarice’s honour may be made to the Ernie and Clarice Danzker Family Fund, c/o The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba or to a charity of your choice.
Trudy was born July 29, 1926 in Winnipeg. She grew up in River Heights, attended Mulvey Elementary, continued on to graduate from Gordon Bell High School, and studied at a technical college to become a bookkeeper.
Trudy and Moe Yusim married on June 30, 1952 and raised their family, Alan, Norman, Susan and Robert.
Trudy was smart, beautiful, poised, dignified and elegant. She enjoyed bowling, playing bridge (she was a Life Grand Master who played well into her 90s.)
Moe’s sudden death in 1977 was heartbreaking. and Trudy faced her heartbreak with resolve, determination, strength, and resilience.
Trudy continued to live in the family home for another 35 years. She was an amazing cook and her meals brought the whole family together many times a year and for holiday celebrations. It was hard for her to leave the family home after her health took a turn, but during her 12 years at the Shaftesbury Residence she found continued comfort and a place to be social, to join activities, and a place where she could proudly entertain her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
As a grandmother she was Nanny Trudy. Her love for and interest in everything her grandchildren and great- grandchildren were doing was obvious. She absorbed their interests and made them her own. She celebrated all their accomplishments and achievements, both personal and professional.
Trudy passed away peacefully on January 8, 2024 at the Simkin Centre. The family is grateful for the tender care she received during her final months. Trudy leaves behind her four children and their spouses, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents Rose and Max Thow and her beloved husband Moe and her great- grandson Leo.
The family would like to thank Rabbi Matthew Leibl for officiating at Trudy’s graveside service. As a long-time family friend his eulogy to Trudy was both personal and poignant.
In conclusion, here are words written by Trudy’s eldest granddaughter:
“She was the strongest woman, going through the tragedy of losing her beloved husband suddenly and at a young age. Left with 4 children and without the love of her life. She persevered, and became a more independent woman than she ever was before. She still enjoyed life and continued on to live another 47 years with grace and love. She lived a full life of 97 years, with many different chapters. We love her and will miss her always.”
May Trudy Yusim be at peace.
And may her memory be a blessing.
Anne Novak (née Fink) passed away peacefully in her 100th year on January 24, 2024. She lived a life that spanned three continents and two centuries. Born in Sanok, Poland on March 18, 1923, Anne was the second of five siblings born to an observant Jewish family. Her early years in Poland were happy, but life became bleak when Hitler invaded in 1939. Before long the Fink family fled to their grandparents’ home in the Russian controlled part of Poland seeking safety. Unfortunately, the Russians deported the family to the depths of Siberia where they were resettled in work camps. The war years were filled with hunger and depravation, but ultimately six of the seven family members survived.
When the family was allowed to leave Siberia, they made their way to Germany and ultimately to Canada.
By the time Anne arrived in Winnipeg in 1948, she had married her beloved husband Oscar Novak and had her first child Carol. Having worked in kindergartens in Russia and Germany, she got a job at the Peretz School as a kindergarten teacher. Like many other immigrants, her husband bought a small grocery store and the young family began to grow and thrive. Two more children, Phil and Allan, completed the Novak family.
Anne’s best times were with family. Her siblings Sally, Sol, and Ruth were an important part of daily life and all lived close by. Last year, they were designated by the Shoah Foundation as the oldest Holocaust survivor siblings in the world. Her son Allan Novak recently made a film about the Fink family which had its world premiere in New York six days before she died.
Anne also took great pride in her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren, delighting in their visits, family celebrations, and accomplishments.
Anne was a wonderful cook and baker, making legendary tortes and cakes for special occasions. Food was love to her and she showered her family with tasty delicacies until well into her 90s. No visit to her kids in Toronto was complete without a box of food containing homemade treats.
Although she was a quiet and refined person, she also had a great sense of humour and enjoyed the funny side of life. She was always kind to the people around her and was the peacemaker in the family.
The family would like to thank Dr. Hamedani and the nursing staff at the Grace Hospital for their kind attention in the final weeks of her life.
She will be sadly missed by her surviving children and their spouses Carol and Brian Sevitt, Allan Novak and Keely Sherman, her grandchildren and their partners Julia Sevitt, David Sevitt and Alexa Abiscott, and Evan and Samantha Novak, and by her great-grandchildren Theo, Zac, Miles, Simone, Matthew and Phil.
In memoriam donations can be made to Jewish Child and Family Services of Winnipeg https://www.jcfswinnipeg.org/donate