Athlete, aesthete, early adopter, stylish dresser, party-thrower, voracious reader, world traveler, prodigious note writer, award-winning gardener – these are but a few of the many ways to describe the one and only, Debby Lexier.
A long-time River Heights resident, born in the north end of Winnipeg, Debby and her husband Easton designed their own Modernist home and lived in it for over 60 years. Their house at 690 Lanark and their award-winning gardens were a tremendous source of joy and pride.
Debby graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design from the University of Manitoba and quickly landed a job with GBR Architects, where she was the first BID graduate ever hired by an architectural office. Other “firsts” include being a founding member and the first President of the Interior Designer’s Institute of Manitoba. In addition to numerous freelance projects, Debby wrote weekly articles on Interior Design for The Winnipeg Tribune and was a lecturer on Interior Design at adult evening school. She also lent her expertise as a juror for the Premier’s Award for Design Excellence, for the National Design Council, and for the Canadian Awards for Business Excellence. She represented Manitoba and Canada on numerous committees, was the Director of the Design Management Centre at the University of Manitoba, and was the Executive Director of the Manitoba Design Institute. Debby had a great interest in travel and participated in many of the research trips organized by the Study Tour of International Design, which took her to Russia, Scandinavia, Europe and China.
She appreciated well-made, well-considered objects, and filled her house with progressive art and design. She was known for her parties, which were planned and colour-coordinated to the smallest detail. She loved flowers – growing them, drawing them and pressing them inside many of the books found in her home. She was massively creative, and supported and encouraged the creatively of others.
Debby Lexier was a cool auntie and a very engaged grandparent. She created a world where the ordinary became extraordinary, where no one was allowed to be bored. Significant events were always celebrated with sparklers.
Pre-deceased by her husband Easton earlier this year, her parents Jack and Sarah, as well as sisters Fraidla (Pollick) and Marcie (Raber), Debby leaves daughter Jill Lexier (Neil Samuels), sons Jonathan (Paula) Lexier and Micah Lexier (Guy Anderson), grandchildren Josh Lexier, Suzanne Lexier and Lex Samuels as well as some 50 nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff and administration of The Saul & Claribel Simkin Center, where Debby spent her final years, for their care and attention. Special thanks to Lisa Gregg, Debby’s caregiver and “angel”, for her love and devotion. Tributes can be made to The Simkin Centre.
BARBARA JEAN WERIER
It is with great sadness our family shares the passing of our beloved mother and grandmother, Barbara Jean Werier, who passed away peacefully on February 6 with family by her side. She was 91 years of age.
She was predeceased by her husband Samuel Werier, and her sister Ann Jason. She is survived by her son’s Joel (Madelaine) and Alan, and her cherished grandchildren Samuel and Rachel.
Barbara was born in the north end of Winnipeg in 1932. She and her younger sister Ann developed a strong bond that would continue well into adulthood. One of her first employment opportunities was with Winnipeg Central Mortgage and Housing, which she spoke fondly of over the years. In 1965 she married her love, Samuel Werier, and they embarked on a 28-year long journey of love, family, and business.
Mom was devoted to her family and children and took great pride in their successes and was always a support in times of disappointment. She was in many ways self-made, and self-taught, and when her husband Samuel passed away in 1993, she continued to run the ‘family business’ J. Werier & Co, on the corner of Princess and Alexander, for the next 25 years.
She was strong, witty and had a tireless work ethic, and always demonstrated kindness and understanding – and she could stand her ground. She taught us how to be good people, and to appreciate the world around us.
Mom found great peace, happiness, and inspiration from a small family cottage in The Whiteshell, where many summer weekends were spent. She found great solace in nature, landscaping, and gardening. She could often be seen walking the trails at the cottage with a pruning saw in her hand. She understood ecology and sustainability before it was fashionable, composted for as long as we can remember, and refused to use fertilizers and chemicals to protect the animals and lakes that she loved.
Mom was the rock and glue of our family. She selflessly supported her family and all around her throughout her life. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to surround her with family and return that support over the last few years. A special thanks to Rodney Chester Larios, who provided exceptional care and became an extended member of our family.
Donations can be made to 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.