With aching hearts and great reluctance, we share the sudden passing of our beloved mother and best friend, Eleanor M. Burke (Shatsky) on December 12, 2021 at her home in Vancouver BC.
Born in Winnipeg MB on April 14, 1929 to Bert and Miriam Shatsky, mom was the middle of three sisters: Bernice Birnbach and Sherry Thompson, both of whom predeceased her. She spoke of them often, keeping their memories alive with colourful anecdotes and memories of their shared lives.
Our dad Morris, or Maishe as mom called him, passed away February 17, 2018 and mom missed him greatly every day, as do we. Married almost 68 years, they shared an amazing life together, as mom recorded in her final years with vivid clarity and detail. We were all blessed to have the whole family together in Vancouver for the last years of mom’s and dad’s lives and they are survived by us, her kids, David, Joel and Baillie, along with daughter-in-law Sharlynne, son-in-law Jeff, and her cherished grandchildren, Connor, Sarah, Ava, Kiera, and her paternal brother Morley (Shatsky).
Mom got her early education and love for music at Winnipeg’s first Jewish Orphanage where the three sisters lived during the week after their mother Miriam died at a young age. On weekends the sisters went home to their father after he remarried and their loving, devoted Auntie Annie (Zelickson) took a hand in raising them alongside their cousins as they all grew up together as siblings. This closeness would last all their lives.
Mom and dad met when she was 15 and he 16, at the home of a relative. She was entering Grade 11 at St. John’s Tech and he was beginning Grade 12 at Fort Garry University on Memorial Blvd. It would be eight years before they would marry – on July 1, 1951, after dad graduated medical school from the University of Manitoba at the young age of 23. Mom worked as a secretary and assistant and had her own apartment, but a job opening for a physician in a small town led them to beginning their lifelong adventure together. With two weeks to marry before dad had to begin his new job, they went to Erickson MB, then on to Norway House, followed by Wapella Sask. and back to Winnipeg – after being away for 10 years.
Mom told stories of their lives, the people they met, the challenges they overcame, and the memories that filled their early years together. Throughout it all, mom maintained a Jewish, kosher home whose door was always open to the many dear friends they made in those years. We siblings were all born in Winnipeg surrounded by our large extended family and we were blessed to have an idyllic upbringing, thanks to our folks’ unconditional love, guidance and commitment to family.
Mom discovered her passion for singing as a child. She was gifted with a rich contralto voice that was known for its special quality and deep resonance. It always brought tears to our father’s eyes when he saw her perform. She sang in choirs all her life, starting with the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue Choir, the Philharmonic Choir, and the Manitoba Opera. She was in demand for weddings and events in the Jewish community and any group that needed an entertainer. She had a wonderful repertoire of Yiddish, Hebrew and English melodies and dearly loved singing and speaking in Yiddish as it reminded her of her youth. She remarked in later years that she adored singing for seniors because she was always looking for her mother who passed away too young at the age of 47 when she was eight years old.
Mom was always interested in working with seniors, regularly visiting not only her beloved Aunt Annie in the Sharon Home (later the Simkin Centre), but making the rounds to others who didn’t have regular visitors. She entertained the ‘inmates’ as she often joked, singing for them as she had done for her own family elders, often with a group of talented women and men she organized to sing, play piano and serve baking. She brought in school children in various grades to partake and interact with the residents.
Mom led a group of volunteers from her synagogue sisterhood for over 35 years, and gave of her time and energy selflessly. She enjoyed and absorbed the stories of people’s lives, often lending an ear to their woes. Mom was committed to keeping a traditional Jewish home and threw herself into every holiday and life-cycle event that had her hosting dinners and get-togethers where the whole family was always welcome. Never having a mean word for anyone, she chose to see only good qualities in a person and, if necessary, she’d make them up if there were few. Just as she saw the positive in every situation, always encouraging us to ‘pull (ourselves) up by our bootstraps’ as she used to say, she was an eternal optimist, singing and humming from sun-up to sun-down, always intent on accomplishing what she set out to do each day lest she not have a productive day to report.
With her charm and grace, she made a wonderful partner for Maishe, supporting and encouraging him with her calm and gentle nature. She uplifted all those who spent time with her and even reframed her painful memories into life lessons that formed the basis of her adaptability and resilience. She often spoke of the gratitude she had to have the life she lived with her sweetheart Maishe.
Of her many accomplishments, she was most proud of her children. To us, she embodied the perfect mother: elegant and glamorous – she was always ‘put together’ in such fashionable attire that belied how hard she worked to be an active member of the Jewish community, devoted wife and partner, mother, friend, sister and daughter. Fresh baking always awaited us when we got home from school and never did a simple peanut butter sandwich make its way into our school lunches… always a five course bursting bag lunch still warm from the morning.
A voracious reader all her life, mom insisted on watching the news incessantly and reading two newspapers every morning. At the age of 92, she could hold her own on current and past events and speak intelligently on a variety of topics. Her friends adored her wit and humour and we siblings recall our childhood filled with laughter, music, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and often strangers welcomed into the home, always with the aroma of her wonderful cooking. The love she had for Maishe, her family and Judaism, her loyalty and compassion – all served to set an example for how she wanted us to live our lives – by example. She had a strict moral compass and believed in her ability to persevere. She was indeed our best friend, our soft place to land in any situation. Her legacy as a ‘gutteneh neshama’ – a ‘good soul,’ will be cherished by all of us who will miss her and dad everyday.
Your warmth and light will live on in us, mom, and we know you will be singing with dad at your side until we all meet again.
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.