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BENJAMIN DAVID ITZKOW, Doctor of Optometry February 11th, 1986 – November 15th, 2021

Itzkow Benji 200 pixelsIt is with heavy hearts and overwhelming sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of Dr. Benji Itzkow on November 15th, 2021. Although Benji fought a variety of physical ailments throughout his life – he faced each day with determination; he was knocked down 100 times, but got up 99.

Since 2013, the love of his life, Eleni Wener, gave him strength and drive to realize all of his dreams. The birth of their son, Carter Sammy Itzkow, was the pinnacle of these last years, and gave him more joy than he ever imagined.
Benji is survived by his wife, Eleni Wener, and son, Carter Itzkow, his parents, Cathy Moser and Jeff Itzkow, brother, Jono and sister, Frannie (Emmett Brennan), parents-in-law, Lynne Oreck-Wener and Bob Wener, ever loving grandmothers-in-law, Evelyn Wener and Zoe Oreck, brothers and sisters-in-law, Taryn and Tim, Hart and Jocelyn, and his adoring nephews, Lucas and Cooper. As soon as they started dating, Eleni’s family embraced Benji as one of their own, and the love was mutual.

Benji was predeceased by his loving and influential babas and zaidas, Ann and Sam Moser and Dolly and Bill Itzkow, and precious dog Zoe. Zaida Sam and Baba Ann taught Benji that it was possible to live with a chronic illness and still laugh and enjoy each day to the fullest. Benji loved to better the lives of the Itzkow, Moser, Wener and Oreck families, friends, and community. His generosity extended beyond what was known by his families at his time of passing. Benji also leaves an enormous hole in the lives of his aunts, uncles, and cousins: Meite Moser and Chris Bottrill and Mark Moser and Sheila Kercheff, who played large roles in his life. Their children were extended nuclear family – as he was the eldest cousin, leading his troop of followers and sometimes rebels – Elliot and Nathan Moser, Samantha and Gabe Bottrill. Benji’s Uncle Martin and Edward Mah and Uncle Butch loved him dearly and the feeling was reciprocal. Benji enjoyed adventures with Butch and Mary Pokrant’s children, Rebecca (Matt) and Jacob (Alex), when they came into town.

Benji was a life-long friend; the kind of friend everyone wanted. He would describe himself as having a small number of friends but the richest of relationships. He had the best friends – his boys, who knew him since elementary school and even before; his friends from Optometry at the University of Waterloo; new friends – Benji embraced Eleni’s girlfriends across the country. Benji was fun-loving, compassionate, thoughtful, generous, and selfless. He made other people’s lives better. Benji and Eleni shared a life together that was always about helping others.
Benji was also someone who made great things happen. He had big plans, and he wasn’t just a dreamer with his head in the clouds, but a doer. After graduating as a Doctor of Optometry from the University of Waterloo in 2011, Benji honed his skills before starting his own business, Eyes in the Village, in 2015. Benji was equally great as an eye doctor and a business owner. Benji had a gentle way of speaking and a kind smile. He was the kind of eye doctor everyone wishes they had. Benji was incredibly talented and thrived on helping people see the world clearer.

Benji loved gadgets. He loved making and creating. He spent his free time woodworking, tinkering on the 3D printer, fishing, going to music concerts, cooking, and baking. But his most treasured roles were as a dad and a husband. His respect, support, and love for Eleni was boundless. In such a short time Benji taught Carter many things, like how to use tools, and to take time to stare and watch trains. They had a bond of true love that only a father and son can share. Benji was a dependable, generous, kind-hearted young man, beloved by all who were fortunate to meet him. People were drawn to Benji. He was such a determined fighter and nothing could keep him down. This is the gift he has given us and continues to give us – to be better – and to remember him and honour him by being better, by fighting harder, by trying more.
He will be sadly missed by his family and wonderful friends.

The family would like to thank Benji’s medical support team – Dr. Charles Bernstein, Dr. Michael Coodin, Dr. Michael Hochman, Dr. Marcus Ng, Dr. Harvey Chochinov, Dr. Laura Chisick, Dr. Marli Leibl and Dr. Noam Katz. They were available 24/7 for consultation and care. Thank you to our countless friends and family that have dropped everything during each emergency. Thank you to the first responders at Fire Station #3. Finally, we are eternally grateful to Benji’s wonderful staff that became family at Eyes in the Village. The EITVO team made every day easy for Benji to get up and go to work with a smile on his face every day.

Services were held at Shaarey Zedek Cemetery on November 18th, 2021. Pallbearers were Jono Itzkow, Gabe Bottrill, Hart Wener, Matthew Frankel, Jordan Fogel, and Marshall Weinstein.
Donations in Benji’s memory may be made to The Benji Itzkow and Eleni Wener Family fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, 204- 477-7520 or to the HSC Foundation Advancing Epilepsy Care Fund with a reference to: In Memory of Dr. Benji Itzkow, 204-515-5612.


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On Monday, July 3, 2023, at home, after a short illness, Harry Reiss passed away at the age of 93. He was the beloved husband of 55 years to Vicky Reiss (Shumsky), who predeceased
him, as did his parents, Ira and Raizel Reiss. He is survived by his children, Jeffrey, wife Marlis,
grandchildren Sheena, Anita, and Leanna; Alan; and Ken, wife Sonya, grandchildren
Chloe, Noah, and Charlie; younger siblings, Sam Reiss, Edward Reiss, and Ida Alpern; and his partner Honey Kowall.
Harry was born in Dunajow, Poland and escaped at age nine with his immediate family due to the growing threat of war and the Holocaust. They left Poland on the “Alaunia” of the Cunard White Star Line, eventually arriving in Halifax on April 16, 1939, then arriving by train to Winnipeg on April 19th, proceeding to Brooksby, Saskatchewan, before eventually settling on a farmstead in Edenbridge, SK, where Harry went to school and helped out on the farm. At age seventeen, due to financial reasons, Harry needed to leave school to find work and arrived in Winnipeg, working 70-hour weeks in a fur coat factory. In 1951, he went to New York City where he stayed with relatives to attend a 6-month course in Fur Designing & Fur Cutting at the Sol Vogel School of Designing. Upon his return to Winnipeg, Harry started his own business in the basement of his parents’ house (who had moved to Wpg. with his siblings earlier that year), sewing patterns and selling fur coats to department stores, in addition to bringing his father, uncle Joe, and brother Sam into the venture. Later, the business expanded first to James St. and later to the Bedford Building on McDermot & King, where it remained thereafter and known as Reiss Furs, engaged in both wholesale and retail sales. Over the years, Harry and his partner Sam, developed an extremely successful enterprise, becoming the largest furrier business in Western Canada, renowned for their high-end garments, with international celebrities and royalty amoungst their clientele. Indeed, they were the last independent furrier in Winnipeg, as eventually the marketplace was changing with less demand for fur coats. Ever the astute businessman, Harry had evolved the business into additionally involving retail sales of high-quality non-fur winter wear, as well as men’s and women’s fashion for some time. In the latter half of his career, Harry successfully expanded into the area of property management, acquiring a number of downtown Winnipeg buildings and parking lots. He continued with property management after the closing of his retail operations in 2008 and “semi-retiring” at nearly eighty years of age.
Harry started to date Vicky in 1956, with them marrying the following year. They enjoyed many happy years together, socializing with family and friends, and in later years looking forward to their winter vacations in Florida. Tragically, Vicky passed away after a brief illness in 2012, at the age of only 73. Fortunately for Harry, over the passage of years he developed a close relationship with Honey Kowall, leading to the two of them ultimately living together, and with him being warmly accepted into the Kowall family.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude for the compassionate care given to Harry by the healthcare-aides who assisted him in his later days, as well as the longstanding service of Judy Hansen.
Funeral services, officiated by Rabbi Kliel Rose, were held at the Rosh Pina Memorial Park on Wednesday, July 5, 2023.

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Peacefully, on October 4, 2023, Molly Rosenblat passed away in Winnipeg at the age of 96, just shy of her 97th birthday.Molly was predeceased by her husband, Ernie, and her brother, Syd Glow. Molly will be lovingly remembered by her two sons, Rob (Sue) and Ed (Bev); her grandchildren: Sarah (Zach), William, Alex (Adam), Carly, Randy (Kate); her six great-grandchildren: Raphael, Aron, Artemis, Isadore, Benjamin and Emma; and her many good friends.
The family would like to give special thanks to Drs. Sean Armstrong and Sarah Dunsmore and to all of the very caring staff in the Dialysis Wards at Seven Oaks Hospital. We would also like to thank Maria Szymanska, Molly’s case co-ordinator for over 12 years, her excellent neighbours from 2000 Sinclair Avenue: Carolyn and Earl Standil, Pearl Rosenberg, and Gus and Grace Kokoschke; as well as Molly’s sister-in-law, Freda Glow and her family, and Molly’s friends, just to name a few, that always looked in on her and cared deeply for her wellbeing.
We would also like to offer a very special thank you to nurse Jane Jaculak and the great and very caring staff at The Simkin Centre, where Molly resided for the past few years. A very special thank you also to Molly’s private caregivers, Liza Monton and Gloria Navarro, and many others that provided additional care, companionship, and wonderful support to Molly for many years.
A funeral service was held on Friday, October 6, 2023 at Congregation Etz Chayim followed by interment at Bnay Abraham Cemetery.In lieu of flowers, those wishing to do so may make donations in Molly’s honour to the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre, or to any charity of their choice.

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Gordon Pollock, at the age 94, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on the morning of Sunday, September 17, at Grace Hospital. Funeral services took place at the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery on Wednesday, September 20, Pallbearers were grandsons, Jeremy Lee and Samuel Pollock, granddaughters Samantha Pollock and Marni Weiss and nephews Joey Katz and Paul Kowall.
Gordon had 5 children: Marshall (Judy), Michael (Ronni), Raymie, who passed away in 2008 (Maureen), Joey (Laura) and Avrum (Tracy); 12 grandchildren: Marni (Jason), Lea (Ari), Jeremy (Stacey), Jonas (who passed away in 2020), Richard (Sarah), Adam (Samantha), Samantha (Ben), Danielle (Jonathan), Liam, Samuel, Benjamin and Alyssa; and 14 great-grandchildren: Sarah, Sammi, Sophie, Julia, Bridget, Mason, Max, Mia, Aiden, Benny Ray, Goldie, Raya, Max and Sydney.
Gordon was predeceased by his loving wife of almost 67 years, Mimi (Bursten), his parents, Sam and Sluva Pollock, mother-in-law Chana and father-in-law Joseph Bursten, sister Myra and husband Chiam, brother Mischa, brother Harvey and wife Sylvia, sister-in law Sookie and husband Zenith, and brothers-in-law Leslie and Raymie Bursten. In addition to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he is survived by his sister Cecile and husband Monte Kowall, sister-in-law Lynn Pollock, as well as many nieces, nephews, and their families. He had the unenviable status of outliving many of his life-long friends and would talk about them very fondly. He remained, well into his 90s, very sharp and loved to go out for meals, play bridge, do puzzles, play Rummikub, tell jokes, and was an avid follower of politics and current events.

Gordon was one of the longest practicing members of the Manitoba Law Society and prided himself on being a lawyer for clients of all walks of life, races and religions, many of whom were welcomed to his house on evenings and weekends to sign documents, as they were working people who couldn’t get off work during the day. He was a man with great patience and put the welfare of others above himself. He gave unconditionally to his family and friends, many times at his own expense. His and Mimi’s house always had an open door policy to which many of his family will attest. He loved to cook and barbeque and many times for 20 plus at a time. He and Mimi enjoyed traveling and especially to Palm Springs for many years. They will be missed by all that knew them.

We would like to thank Rabbi Matthew Leibl for his kind words and wonderful service and the many home care workers for their wonderful assistance over the last year. Donations can be made to the Gordon and Miriam Pollock Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba or to the charity of your choice.

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