Bernice Marmel was born in Arran, Saskatchewan as Ethel Bernice Macklin. After moving to Winnipeg, she resided at the Winnipeg Jewish Orphanage and then went on as a teenager to live with her aunt and uncle Fred and Sarah (Hechter) Sures in River Heights.
She attended Robert H. Smith Elementary School before graduating from Kelvin High School. After marrying Max Marmel she moved to West Kildonan where she lived most of her life. Bernice obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Manitoba and much later in life her Masters Degree in Health Education.
Bernice had a lifetime of extraordinary service to others, especially to those whose poverty makes them more vulnerable. As a senior citizen, she was concerned naturally for other older Manitobans, but also worked for adolescent parents and school-aged children.
Throughout her life, Bernice was sometimes employed by organizations and sometimes worked as a volunteer. In fact, Bernice’s loyalty to the people whose concerns were at the heart of her work often caused her paid work to segué into volunteer work whenever funding ran out. She cared too much about the people and issues they faced to put projects aside.
Bernice believed in the possibility of working with people to enable them both to do what was needed and to grow. This was her method of working. When setting up a fitness program at a north end church, she taught the people how to apply for government funding. In a project she initiated, while with the Nor’West Health Cooperative, she enabled children who lived in a social housing project to speak out about their own health needs. This project was recognized with the Canadian Healthy Communities Project Certificate of Distinction.
Bernice served on countless volunteer boards and committees. Some of the groups that have benefited from Bernice’s work include the Manitoba Council on Aging; the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg; Mount Carmel Clinic; The Urban Idea Centre; the North End Women’s Resource Centre; the Food Network; ALCOA; and the Winnipeg Public Library Board.
Bernice was often ahead of current thinking, for example on sexuality among older people. A paper she wrote advocated for older people to continue to be regarded as sexual beings long before such thinking was prominent. Her work also addressed the problem of social isolation among seniors, establishing a Friendly Visitors program for the Age and Opportunity Inc., and a phone link for seniors from Deer Lodge Hospital. She was instrumental in the establishment of both Macbeth House and Bleak House senior centres in Winnipeg’s North End.
Bernice was long concerned about the pressing need for affordable housing, especially, but not solely for seniors. Among other groups, Bernice was part of the housing committee on the Council on Aging and also sat as part of the coalition on housing called together by the provincial government.
Bernice won many certificates of recognition and awards for her work, including ones from the Lord Selkirk West Kildonan Community, also Winnipeg’s KLINIC’s suicide prevention program, SPEAK. In 2002, she was given the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. In 2016, she received the Murray and Muriel Smith Award, the highest award by the Manitoba Council on Aging. Finally Bernice was awarded the Order of Manitoba in 2018, the highest honour amongst all others conferred by the Manitoba Crown. This award was for excellence and achievement in any field that benefits the well being of Manitoba and its residents.
Bernice travelled extensively for pleasure, usually on stand-by, all over the world. England, Columbia, and Tunisia were some of her favorites.
In addition to her extensive community work, Bernice was a devoted mother, sister and Baba. She acted as a strong role model for her family in her dedication to her community and relentless support for vulnerable individuals. Her calm and cheerful demeanour stuck with her over the last few years of her life, even when her ability to communicate became limited. You could always count on her to be smiling.
Bernice was predeceased by her parents, Sam Machlin and Rose Hechter-Machlin, and her brothers, Gerry, Joseph and Dr. Allan Macklin.
She will be fondly remembered by her daughter Rosalind, son Lawrence (Tam), grandson Shane Marmel and granddaughter Dr. Allison Marmel (Dr. Yale Michaels).
Funeral service and burial took place at the Rosh Pina Cemetery on April 30, 2021, officiated by Rabbi Kliel Rose.
Pallbearers were: Dr. Billy Kettner, Dr. Joel Kettner, Bruce Kettner, Brian Scharfstein, John Michaels, and Jamie Michaels.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Max Marmel and Bernice Macklin-Marmel Fund for the Gray Academy at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, 204-477-7520.
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