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Obituaries

LEO SHEARER

leo shearerIt is with profound sadness that the family of Leo Shearer announces his passing, at the Simkin Centre on November 1, 2019 . Leo lived a long and full life, achieving great success while overcoming many challenges. Words do not do justice to the man Leo was and what he meant to many people. He was larger than life and a true force of nature.

 

He is survived by his daughters Shelley Shearer-Nelko (Dana), Dr. Ronna Sherman (Joel) and Dr. Brenna Shearer (Stephen). He also leaves behind his grandchildren, Lindsay (David), Riley, Lana, Remy, Hayden, Joshua, Mara, Amy and Sam, as well as his sister Shirley Wasserman, nieces, nephew, great-nephews and nieces and cousins. Leo was predeceased by his parents Sam and Faye Schicher, his infant brother Pesachia and the love of his life, Selma Shearer (Levin) to whom he had been married for 66 years before her passing October 24, 2018.

Leo was born in Mezhirech, Poland on December 12, 1928. His father Sam had to come to Winnipeg alone in 1929, to establish a better life for his infant son Leo and his wife Faye. It was not possible because of Canada’s immigration laws at the time, to bring them to Winnipeg. By the time he found a way to bring them here, Leo was already 6 years old. Growing up in the north end of the city, Leo was determined to make the most of the opportunities his father worked so hard to provide for him in Canada.

A brilliant and hard working student, Leo was one of 3 students at St. John’s Tech to have a grade A average all the way through high school. Although accepted to the prestigious MIT School of Engineering in Boston, he elected to stay in Winnipeg for University in order to help his family, when his father had his first heart attack. Leo graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree, where he excelled and was awarded the Eaton Scholarship. Those who witnessed it, described Leo as a mathematical and analytical genius, who could do extremely complex calculations in his head with speed and precision.

After graduation, Leo continued to work with his father at his grain mill, Economy Grain & Feed on McPhillips & Pacific. Although he was accepted to Harvard Business School for post graduate studies, tragedy struck the family. Just as Leo and Selma were expecting their first child, his father had a fatal heart attack at the age of 54. Once again Leo took charge and took care of his family. Eleven years later in 1967, Leo’s world was again changed dramatically by a terrible fire that burned down the Grain Mill. With a wife and three young daughters at home, Leo took this misfortune as an opportunity to redefine himself.

Applying his boundless energy, drive and outstanding business acumen, particularly in the area of finance and real estate development, Leo established his own Mortgage and Development companies. He built numerous projects including nursing homes, apartment complexes and hotels across North America. He was very proud to have been the first to obtain zoning to construct an apartment building on Grant avenue in Winnipeg, called the Americana. Leo alongside his partners, were also ahead of their time when developing the Nursing home called Oakview Place on Ness in St. James, which introduced innovative amenities and features not seen before in senior living facilities.

Time with Leo was memorable for his family and friends. With a terrific sense of humour, Leo truly enjoyed life. A passionate bridge player, he took it seriously achieving Gold Life Master status. He loved golf for many years and long walks outside, as keeping fit was very important him. He travelled around the world with his wife Selma and their many friends. They also loved dancing together, whenever they had the chance. Leo took advantage of the time he had with all of his grandchildren and children, genuinely listening and giving his best guidance and advice. He was there for hockey games, dance recitals and in any other way he could, as he truly loved and felt grateful for the time he had. His father’s untimely death made a huge impact on him. Leo presumed he would die young like his father.

Surviving both prostate cancer and open heart surgery, his strong will, love of life and family was unwavering. Everything he did was to ensure that his family would never have to struggle and worry as he did. His generosity and support was life changing for family members, as he believed in helping whenever he could. After he had surgery for prostate cancer at Johns Hopkins and more recently open heart surgery at St. Boniface Hospital, Leo showed his gratitude with sizeable donations.

Leo’s incredibly sharp mind, fastidious attention to detail and big heart served him well until the end. Diagnosed with vascular dementia in his later years, it became evident that he had a remarkable ability to compensate with his strengths, for a long time as the disease progressed. Through it all, he would say “it’s good to be alive!”. That optimistic bright disposition and perseverance helped him. His physical and mental strength defined him, as he fought and never gave up, when faced with challenges from the beginning of his life until the end.

Leo always made us feel loved and supported. We will miss him greatly and love him forever.

A special thank you to Doris Boutillier his executive assistant for over 20 years, Anastasia, Jessica, Folarian and all of the caring staff at Comforts of Home Care and the Simkin Centre. The love and support from friends and family has been greatly appreciated.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday November 5 at 12:30 pm, at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue. Thank you to Rabbi Matthew Leibl and the staff at the Synagogue.

For those who wish to remember Leo, donations can be made to: The Selma and Leo Shearer G.R.O.W. Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, 204-477-7520. www.jewishfoundation.org

 

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Obituaries

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. 

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Obituaries

GERTRUDE YUSIM

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.

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Obituaries

ANN NOVAK

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

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