Louis Bernstein passed away on March 18, 2019 in the loving arms of his wife Clara.
Lou was predeceased by his parents Eva and Isaac Bernstein and sisters Bette Shapiro, Ann Banks and Tootsie Plotka. He is survived by his wife Clara, children Barbara and David Goldenberg, Roz and Marty Greenfeld, Keevin and Faren Bernstein, and Chutch and Evelyn Bernstein; his grandchildren Eli and Jenny Goldenberg, Sari Goldenberg and Daniel Borok, Benji Goldenberg and Ronit Kantarzhi, Joshua Greenfeld and Jodi Kravetsky, Jay Greenfeld and Ashley Cabernel, Amy and Daniel Dorsch, Kylie Bernstein and Tyler Benson, Brayden Bernstein, Griffin Bernstein, Matthew Bernstein, Lexie Bernstein and Cole Grossinger; his 11 great grandchildren Lucas, Molly, Nate, Asher, Reid, Jaxon, Kal, Hymie, Herschell, Zev and Haley; his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Sandra and Hal Rubin and many adoring nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Lou was born on Erev Passover in Romania in 1926 and immigrated to Canada at age 6 months. He grew up in Winnipeg’s North End where he spent his youth working in his father’s grocery store, attending St Johns Tech and developing a legendary reputation as a star football player. He continued his football feats at the University of Manitoba. He declined an offer for a football scholarship at the University of Miami and instead married his beloved Clara. In 1948 he opened a grocery store on Mulvey and Daly and then in 1956 he joined London Life Insurance Company where he had a successful career that spanned 35 years.
Our parents were childhood sweethearts and were married for 71 years. Theirs was an exemplary marriage and enduring love story. His children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were his greatest joy and source of pride. His capacity for extending his warmth, humour and affection to all was boundless. He approached people, those he knew and those he didn’t, with a smile and a song. He truly considered himself enormously enriched from the reciprocal love and affection of those whose paths he crossed, throughout his entire life. He has left us with a legacy of how to lead one’s life and to live it to the fullest.
In the short time since his death, the family has received dozens of messages from all over the world from friends and family whose lives he touched; all with the same theme of the smiles, if not laughter they experienced every time in his presence. The love his children’s and grandchildren’s friends have for him is simply extraordinary. There will never be another Lou Bernstein.
His pallbearers were his seven grandsons Eli, Josh, Jay, Benji, Matthew, Brayden, and Griffin. Honorary pall bearer was Dr Neil Margolis, a beloved family friend, who saved Lou’s life during a cardiac arrest in 1995. The family would like to extend a special thanks to Joe, Marty and Marcelo, his wonderful caregivers in these last more difficult few months; to his many caring doctors, but especially Dr John Embil who went beyond the usual call of duty giving Lou care; to the wonderful staff and neighbours at Hampton Green, especially Jim and Doreen Yamashita. Donations may be made to the Rady Jewish Community Centre
(To paraphrase Dan Fogelberg, 1982)
The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through us instruments
And his song is in our soul
Our lives have been a weak attempt to imitate the man
We’re just a living legacy to the leader of the band.