Surrounded by family, Miriam Erenberg passed away peacefully at the Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
She leaves behind to mourn her sister Ruth Sher of Montreal; sisters-in-law, Marylin and Norma Block, both of Montreal, and Musi (Sam) Singer of Beverly Hills, California; her daughter Galla (Allan) Horenfeldt of Toronto, ON; sons, Yale (Ellen) Erenberg of St. Mary’s, ON, David (Ronda) Erenberg, Reuven Erenberg (Elaine Pelley) and Noah Erenberg (Cheryl Cohan); grandchildren, Tyler Horenfeldt of Toronto, ON, and Max, Jona, Daniel, Sarah, Leah, Micah and Brina Erenberg, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Miriam was predeceased by her husband Morris; parents, Rebecca (Rivkah) and John (Yonah) Block; daughter Esther Brina; sisters, Anne Block, Faye Friedman and Rose Segal; brothers, Ben and Hye Block; brothers-in-law, Harry Friedman, Melvin Segal, David Sher and Joe Erenberg; and sister-in-law Anne Erenberg.
A graveside service was officiated by Rabbi Matthew Leibl on July 25, 2017 at the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. Pallbearers were Yale, David, Reuven, Noah, Daniel, Max and Micah Erenberg; honorary pallbearers were Allan and Tyler Horenfeldt.Born in Montreal, QC on January 26, 1929, Mom had fond memories of growing up in Quebec, in particular the summers spent at the family’s Cape Cod style cottage along the shores of Trout Lake in the Laurentians, located north of Montreal. It was there Mom learned to become a talented swimmer, mastering several techniques, including the breast stroke, front crawl and butterfly. Mom also had a passion for downhill skiing, mostly near Montreal and sometimes in the Laurentians.
After graduating from the Girls Section of the High School of Montreal, Mom went on to study nutritional sciences at McGill University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949. In 1952, at 23 years of age, Mom started dating Dad, a 28 year old medical student from Winnipeg who was completing a residency at Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital. A year later, in 1953, they were married in Montreal and then moved to Winnipeg. Within a span of 10 years beginning in 1954, Mom and Dad brought six children into this world. In 1970, the family moved from the south end suburb of River Heights to the fledgling residential development known as Parkway Square, located in the far northwest corner of the city. Once all her children were in school full time, Mom worked for several years as a medical receptionist in Dad’s family practice, while continuing to maintain a home for those children who were still living at home. In 1998, shortly after retirement, Mom and Dad moved back to the south end of town, settling in Tuxedo. In 2009, after Dad took ill and would remain permanently hospitalized until his death on the winter solstice in 2010, Mom moved to the Shaftesbury Retirement Residence, where she forged new friendships and rekindled old ones. Unfortunately, after six years, Mom’s personal care needs exceeded what the Shaftesbury could provide, thus prompting her final move, to the Simkin Centre, in 2015.
Mom was never, ever, imposing and she always put the needs of others first (almost to a fault). She also made her home a place where friends and neighbours always felt welcome. She was the consummate homemaker, cooking and cleaning with an impeccable attention to detail from as early as 6 in the morning until 9 in the evening. Not only did this commitment to perfection transcend the realm of the home to influence her children in their approach to school and work alike, it would become the hallmark of the tools of independence with which she equipped her children once they moved out on their own.
To know Mom was to truly love her. She was, by all accounts, the most compassionate, kind and selfless person you could ever meet. And she treated everyone, without exception, in this gracefully magnanimous, altruistic fashion. A true lady. A classy woman who lived her life in such a way that she will always be fondly remembered and deeply cherished by all who were graced by her presence. As just about anyone who knew her would say, “It was so easy to love her.”
Even the smallest bit of good news from her kids or grandkids was met with enormous happiness and true elation on her part. Telling her of the accomplishments of her children or grandchildren was a sure antidote for a difficult day; a real remedy for the vicissitudes of aging.
When asked a few years ago to sum up her life motto, she said: “To be kind and helpful to others, especially those in need. And to also be a very devoted and caring parent and wife.”
So, Mom, you can go to your well-deserved resting place with a quiet mind and an easy heart, knowing that even though we will miss being with you, miss visiting with you, or talking to you on the phone, at the same time we are deeply comforted by the indelible impression you have made on our lives and on the lives of so many people. The profound way in which you lived your life, your soulful essence that you shone upon everyone you met and everything you did, means you will most certainly live brilliantly and beautifully in our hearts, and in the hearts of others, forever.
We gratefully wish to acknowledge the love and devotion of Mom’s caregivers, Carmen, Marie Anne and Joci, whose compassion, patience and kindness over the past decade were instrumental in enriching Mom’s life and affording her a few more years of happiness she would not have otherwise enjoyed with family and friends. The family would also like to thank the staff at the Simkin Centre, in particular the nurses and attendants at Unit 1 South, who brought life to Mom’s later years with their kind care, enthusiastic programming and special attention to her needs.
In keeping with Miriam’s wishes, you may donate to her granddaughter’s Registered Disability Savings Plan by sending a cheque to Sarah Erenberg, Box 195, 23-845 Dakota Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R2M 5M3. However, interested donors who prefer to support a registered charity may donate to OHEYS Autism Programs, a local registered charity that designs and delivers community-based activity programs for children and teens on the autism spectrum. This may be done online at www.oheys.org and press the DONATE button or by mail at OHEYS Autism Programs, 61 Linacre Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 3G7. A charitable tax receipt will be issued for a donation in any amount.